Mrs Universe 2017: Changing the world through women empowerment
Mrs Universe 2017: Changing the world through women empowerment

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Mrs Universe 2017: Changing the world through women empowerment


Entrepreneurs, seasoned businesswomen, community champions, activists and advocates from around the world will unite in Durban next month for Mrs Universe 2017. As an activist-themed event, Mrs Universe falls outside the typical arena of pageantry, and recognises the individual efforts made by each married contestant in her own country to uplift and empower women.

Mrs Gabon, Gwen Madiba, is a TV host, global entrepreneur and a human and women’s rights activist both in her home country in central Africa and in her “adopted” home, Canada. Among her many entrepreneurial ventures, Gwen is the founder of the SAFARA AFRICAN PRINT FASHION SHOW, that celebrates various African cultures while raising funds for various causes that directly touch women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Gabon. “I strongly believe that it is only by coming together as one nation that we can bring powerful change in the world.” Gwen is the recipient of several awards in recognition of her stoic efforts to empower women and children and was listed in the Women’s Executive Network list of 2010 Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

Nigeria’s contestant, 35-year old Faith Ifeoma Ogaga, has woven her love for bright colours and creativity into a successful career as a fashion designer. “My philosophy has always been ‘If you can dream it, you can achieve it as long as you keep working hard towards it’” says the mother of two from Delta State, Nigeria. The entrepreneur is also passionate about “giving back” and volunteers at a local centre for widows where she shares her skills to empower the women to be self-sufficient.

Mrs North America, Janelle Woods-McNish, is taking time off from her position as a Director at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care where she heads up community upliftment initiatives, to jet into Durban next week. The community advocate, wife and mum to twins is passionately involved in the "Saving our Children from the Night" in partnership with the global NPO, Children of the Night. At the same time, Janelle is an astute businesswoman who, in 2016, was listed in the Boston Business Journal's 40 under 40 list of business leaders.

Mrs Singapore, Racheal Olivero, is an events manager who is actively involved in several charitable organisations including the Singapore Red Cross Home of the Disabled, ARC Children Centre and
TOUCH Community Service. A mother to two daughters, Racheal has worked on a local, educational
TV series targeting pre-schoolers. As a dyslexic, Racheal found a way of using her drawing skills to
help overcome the disorder and teaches this skill to dyslexic children.

The theme of Empowering Women, Creating Change will feature prominently in every activity leading up to the Mrs Universe World Final on 2 September 2017. All 84 contestants will participate in the #OneVoice march against gender-based violence and child abuse in Durban’s City Centre on 30 August 2017.The women will also visit schools in the greater Durban area and spend time at Verulam-based LIV Village for orphaned and vulnerable children, to encourage girls to study further and empower themselves with education.

The World Final will take place at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 2 September 2017. Tickets are available at Computicket. For more info, visit

Issued by KZN Media and Communications
Media Specialists for Mrs Universe 2017
Twitter: @anisaussuph

Mrs Universe 2017: Changing the world through women empowerment

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