PHILADELPHIA – Crowns, sashes, and yards of lappa evening gowns filled the streets of Philadelphia as the Liberian United Women in Progress (LUWIP) crowned Miss Georgia Naomi Glay as the 2018 Miss Liberia USA. With a total of 6 contestants helming from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey, it was a riveting return of the Miss Liberia USA Pageant, after its absence in 2017.
Report by Andrienne Tingba, FPA Contributor
The dimly lit halls of the Suzanne Collins Theatre in the heart of Philadelphia’s theatre district on Friday, July 20, filled up with Liberians from around the USA eager to see who will carry the coveted crown.
“Its really difficult to tell who will win. All the ladies are so unique in their own way, and bring something different to the table, which is different from the other pageants where you could easily tell who the top two will be.” Said Nadia Riggio, 1st Runner-Up in the 2012 Miss Liberia USA Pageant.
Riggio’s sentiments were that of many observers in the hall as the segments of the pageant concluded.
“I’m glad I’m not one of the judges. It will be so hard for me to choose”, said one observer.
The judges, hailing from various parts of Africa, included Liberian Fashion Designer Rose Dousah of Roshe Design, current Miss Africa USA Corinne Missi, Liberian Model, Blogger, and Influencer, Deddeh Howard, and Sierra Leonean Jewelry Tycoon, Dan Moijey.
Speaking on the pageant and the state of Liberia, Pageant Judge and Model Deddeh Howard said; “Its nice to see everyone here, but I know we can and will do better”
The night was filled with youthful Liberians and Africans excited to celebrate Liberia and discuss plans of impacting the nation and the continent at large.
“The time for Africa is now. We must focus on collaboration and not competition if we are to move Liberia forward.” Said the co-host of the show and founder of the Grand Bassa Trade Conference, Bleejay Innis.
A representative of the event organizers, LUWIP, Ms. Renee Wilson stated that the group is excited to return to hosting the pageant once more in leu of a minor hiccup back in 2017. While LUWIP has taken on the initiative to host the Miss Liberia USA Pageant, it remains unclear who will host the next Miss Liberia Pageant.
The last Miss Liberia Pageant was hosted December 2016 in Liberia, at which point Ms. Wokie Dolo of Nimba County won the title. With almost two years gone since then, there has been no other pageant held for Dolo to pass on the crown, and it remains unclear the future plans for the pageant.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Miss Liberia USA Ms. Naomi Glay intends to use her new platform to advocate for survivors of sexual abuse/assault.