How Kate Menson emerged M-Net Face of Africa
For striking 23-year-old Ghanaian Kate Menson, dreams do really come true. Her dream indeed became a reality on Saturday, November 29 in Sun City, South Africa when she was crowned the new M-Net Face of Africa.
Discovered in Accra during a casting in the city earlier in the year, her progress in the current season of M-Net's Face of Africa has been a constant inspiration to many, who discovered earlier in the month that although, Kate had auditioned for the search in 2006, she hadn't qualified at the time because she needed to hone her talent and work on developing her physique.
But on that fateful Saturday night, her hard work and dedication were rewarded as a thrilled SuperBowl audience welcomed her success with thunderous applause as she was named the seventh and newest M-Net Face of Africa.
The dramatic hour and a half show, featuring electric performances from Idols winner Eric Moyo, along with Nigerian superstars Naeto C and Ikechukwu plus Afro-funk performers House of Holy Afro, was screened live on DStv to over 40 countries across the continent. Also striding down the catwalk were fellow finalists Alli (Nigeria), Hamamat (Ghana), Hiwot (Ethiopia), Maria (Namibia), Noxi (Zambia), Joana (Angola), Lucy (Uganda), Sasa (South Africa) and Sola (Nigeria).
Featuring the fashions of Tanzania's Mustafa Hassanali, South Africa's Thula Sindi and Nigeria's Lisa Folawiyo plus collections from South Africa's Cosmopolitan and True Love East Africa magazines, the finale was a glamorous showcase of African talent, style and creative energy, played out against a backdrop of a gleaming black catwalk.
The dramatic runway took on a uniquely contemporary look as a giant and unforgettable replica of the face of 2005 winner Botswana's Kaone Kario, complete with bold black eye make-up and an ever-changing neon lit Afro, was made the focal point for the entrance and exit of the Top 10 finalists.
With the show steadily and dramatically building to the exciting winner announcement, audiences greeted Namibia's Venantia Otto, the Face of Africa 2006 warmly as she made her way onto the catwalk to make the announcement of the Top 5 finalists. This was soon followed by the finale's tension filled key moment, as the very first Face of Africa turned-model icon and businesswoman Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi made the big announcement, revealing the M-Net Face of Africa 2008.
Commented Oluchi: "On the judging panel, it was clear to us all that Kate was perfectly suited to be the next Face of Africa. She's the complete package, a model designers' dream that magazine editors embrace and that catwalks are made for. Kate won the title purely on merit and the fact that she had this fairytale story, this incredible journey to the top, makes it just that little bit sweeter!”
Awarding Kate with a modelling contract valued at USD 50 000 with her agency O Model Africa, Oluchi's announcement marked a magic moment in the Face of Africa legacy, as 10 years after she won the title, the Nigerian supermodel was the one opening a new door for a new star.
M-Net Channel Director for Africa Biola Adekanbi said her company was proud of the project which, with its transformative power to change lives and its enduring continental appeal, continued to be a shining highlight on the M-Net calendar.