Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cape Verde's First International Beauty Queen

Ivanilda Reis (with permission of MWA Int.)
While there are beautiful people the world over, Cape Verde is reputed to have more than its fair share. As the old adage goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But Cape Verde may put that adage to the test as there are more than a few Cape Verdeans who are undeniably beautiful by any measure. One such example is Ivanilda Reis.

On December 18, 2011, Ms. Reis, or "Vanny" as she prefers to be called, became Cape Verde's very first international beauty queen when she was crowned winner of the Miss West Africa International 2011 contest held in Banjul, Gambia. The contest included talented young women from 24 countries in West Africa. Vanny dedicated her win to the late Césaria Évora, Cape Verde's world reknown "Barefoot Diva", who passed away the day before Vanny's historic win.

Vanny, 26 years old, is a professional model with experience in Cape Verde and Brazil. She has an active and ambitious agenda. She is also a fitness instructor with a passion for health issues and healthy living. She had been the editor of the fashion magazine, Kriola, and is preparing to launch her own online fashion mag as well as her own branded line of clothes for women and men. She is now in the process of launching Cape Verde's first school for fashion models. Her goal is not simply to teach students how to become successful models but to educate these youth in business subjects so that they can be successful business-women and men who are able to make there way in the world when they are no longer on the fashion stage.

Furthermore, Vanny is a youth leader in Cape Verde who is actively involved in charitable causes. Her charity in Cape Verde is called WeDoCare and its mission is to assist seniors in Cape Verde. According to Vanny, "the issues of aging are well known in America, Europe and Asia. But Africa is a very young continent. So its seniors have become an invisible population whose issues have been lost among the issues of youth." With her win in Gambia, Vanny plans to raise the profile of the challenges faced by seniors, such as loneliness, immobility and health issues. She also hopes to raise donations through her cause, WeDoCare.

You can visit Vanny's page on Facebook to read more about her experiences. You'll also find the video below on her page where you may also leave her your congratulatory comments or share her page, video or photos with your family and friends.

Vanny is also featured on the cover of the Miss West Africa International calendar. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the calendar will also be used to support Vanny's drive to help seniors all over West Africa.

Miss West Africa International 2012-2013 Promotional Calendar
Vanny Reis is more than just a woman who exhibits external beauty, a trait which can be fleeting. Much more than this, Vanny exudes beauty from within, like many of her compatriots. This is one reason to visit Cape Verde ... the internal warmth and beauty, or morabeza, of its people.

And if you would like a copy of the calendar, which is available in several languages, you can contact Vanny directly to receive one while helping to support her cause.


Max said...

beautiful post, but too a small request

I got a flagcounter, just like you and I don't have the flag of CV, so could you visit my blog


Angelo said...

Thank you Max. Your blog is beautiful. The flag of Portugal may appear instead of Cape Verde because of the way the internet is implemented in Cape Verde.

Anonymous said...

First, she is not, the first international beauty queen from CV.
There are several queens from Miss CEDEAO.
We also had representatives in Miss World.
Second she was not elected in CV, she was chosen from a group? of with no one knows about the other candidates.
Third, why is she saying she is part of the activity Wedocare, but her name, photo or any other reference, to her does not exists on their facebookpage?
oh, by the way, there are no "professional models" in CV. Just some young boys and girls, doing somme shows, (some are really good) for some 3 or 4 so called agencies. In fact there are only 2 for the moment. All the rest are just "willing to be" agencies.
There are Capeverdian models in europe, brasil, usa, but in CV, no. They can call it "models" but it isn't.

Angelo said...

Hi Anonymous,

I really enjoy receiving critical comments from readers who care not to identify themselves. It suggests great confidence in your point of view. But nevertheless, I thank you for taking the time to react to my article.

If I am wrong, I stand corrected, but perhaps I should have said the first Cape Verdean beauty queen to have won an international crown in the modern era. And I think every country has sent a representative to the big shows like Miss World or Miss Universe, but when was the last time Cape Verde won those events? Thus, I fail to see your point about Cape Verde having had representatives in Miss World.

Frankly, why do you even care whether Vanny was selected in Cape Verde or who the other candidates were? The fact is that she was selected and the others were not. I have never in my life heard anyone ask about a contestant representing a country in a concourse, who the candidates were who did not become the representative of that country. If you are Cape Verdean, you should be proud that SHE WON the Miss West Africa International event. Instead, it seems you are looking to challenge why she is the representative of Cape Verde? It is very hard to understand your issue here. I might understand your point is she was not the winner of the event.

Vanny is part of WeDoCare. The fact that she does not appear on the Facebook page of WeDoCare means what? Why don't you ask the organization. So let me ask you this? Who is the president of TCV or RTP Africa, the TV stations. Does that person appear on their Facebook page? You point is a bit illogical about Vanny's connection to WeDoCare.

Finally, Vanny happens to be a model who was trained in Brazil, not Cape Verde. Why not look at her portfolio? Regardless, rather than be so condescending of Cape Verdean models and agencies, why not offer to help them improve? Try to be part of the solution.

By the way, please tell me you are not one of the losing candidates who Vanny was selected over, are you? Or you are not one of the two former winners of Miss CEDAO?

Sakin said...

Beautiful girls on this contest;)!

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