The stage is now set for the big extravanga. The Kora Music Awards, started in 1994 by the indefatigable Beninois, Ernest Coovi Adjovi, has grown to become Africa's answer to the American Grammys. And so has Miss Malaika, again started by Adjovi only two years ago, grown to become Africa's answer to the Miss World beauty peageant.
In 1996, two years after its founding, Kora was broadcast live to 45 African countries. This year's extravaganza will be seen live in 45 African and 28 European and Asian countries--an estimated live TV audience of 380 million. All roads, therefore, lead to the Gallagher Estate, Midrand, outside Johannesburg, where the Kora event takes place.
A month later, on 7 December, the finals of Miss Malaika (Swahili for angel) will be beamed live from two venues in Zimbabwe--one m Harare and another in Victoria Falls. This year's event is being sponsored by the Zimbabwean government, more in homage to the Zimbabwean beauty, Brita Masalenthulini, who won last year's maiden Miss Malaika crown. This year's finalists were chosen from over 5,000 entries from all over Africa and the African Diaspora.
The Miss Malaika pageant is all about finding a beauty of African origin who embodies the angelic qualities implied by the name. Says Adjovi: "Miss Malaika's broad purpose is to promote African beauty through Africa's diverse culture and...