Monday, June 4, 2012

A Crown at last

Good sense seems to have prevailed with ex Miss World Fiji, Torika Watters, finally handing  the crown to her incumbent, Koini Vakaloloma. This is after a few weeks ago it was reported that Watters was refusing to return the Miss Fiji crown. It was reported that he had notified the National Director of the Fiji franchise, Andhy Blake,  "I don't think it is right for you to ask me to return the prizes that I won and I am not going to do so." This caused quite a bit of a 'war of words' between Blake and Watters, and it even involved the Ministry of Tourism permanent secretary, Elizabeth Powell, who called on the two parties to try and sort their differences out amicably.
In a string of e-mails and responding to correspondence between Ms Watters and Mr Blake, which were copied to the media, Tourism permanent secretary Elizabeth Powell has called on the parties to settle their disagreement directly."If you do indeed have the best interests of Fiji and Fijians at heart as you profess, you are both strongly advised to immediately cease this verbal combat by media, email and internet," Ms Powell said.
But it would be interesting to see, as to what finally convinced Watters to return the crown. The Fiji Times reported that "A sombre smiling Ms Watters awaited the media at a press conference in Suva on Friday," so its safe to assume that she was not doing this out of her free will. FijiLive  reported that the crown was returned after "a successful reconciliation between the organizers and Watters."
After weeks of media controversy, its good to see that at least there seems to be some closure to this saga. But it will be interesting to see whether, this will indeed bring, any kind of real closure to this whole fiasco, or if it is just a publicity stunt to make it seem like that all is well in Tiara Land.
But despite all the smiles and 'reconciliation' people should not forget how it is we had so much drama and negative publicity during this event. Relevant authorities need to seriously scrutinise how this event was staged. There needs to better transparency all around, from the initial planning of the event, to how the pageant contestants are chosen to be part of the competition. And the same goes for during and after the event.
Since this is the first time the Miss World Fiji franchise is operating in the country, i guess there will be some bumps along the way. So the organisers of the event should look at the criticisms levelled at them as constructive criticisms, and try to build on and better their performance for next year. For the time being, we wish the current Miss World Fiji all the best in her Miss World quest.

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