Nelson Matanga, a Malawian who was contesting in the Mr Face of Africa Austria 2014, won the title Saturday night after outclassing 14 other contestants from seven African countries.
Confirming the news from Salzburg, Austria, the 29-year-old said he was over the moon to have won the crown after a tough race.
“It wasn’t easy but I went and told myself ‘go there and represent to the fullest’. I’m so excited about this achievement,” he said in an online interview.
The competition, which is in two categories, Mr and Miss Face of Africa Austria, brings together Africans living in Austria to showcase the African heritage and talents in the European country.
15 male contestants representing Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe were vying for the crown. Ghana and Cameroon got the first and second runners-up, respectively.
In the ladies category, Ghanaian Mavis Kwarko Attoh came first while the first and second runners-up went to Nigeria and Congo, respectively.
The final show saw the contestants parading in African wear, Austrian traditional wear and evening wear.
“We had a part to showcase our talent and had questions from judges too. We had to sell ourselves to the audience and for me, being the only one from southern Africa, it wasn’t east but I managed to wow the crowd and whenever I went on stage they called me ‘the warrior like Mandela”, said Matanga.
As winner, the Malawian received a cash prize which he did not want to disclose. He was also awarded magazine and movie contracts in Belgium and Ghana.
Matanga is currently studying Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg and he said winning the title will help him a lot in his quest to market Malawi as a tourist destination.
“I will be promoting Malawi to the fullest. I have already met up with some multimedia guys and will me making promotional videos for Malawi and am calling the project “Invest in Malawi”.
“I hope someday I can end up being a tourism ambassador for Malawi one day,” he said, while disclosing “I will be making a trip to Malawi with people who enjoy volunteer tourism during the Lake of Stars.
Matanga, a former Mr Malawi Institute of Tourism (MIT), left Malawi for Austria in 2010, a year he won his first modeling title.
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