Brazzaville: 'Miss Mama Kilo' Pageant Honors Curvy Women

Collection with 23 media items created by Patrick

Republic of Congo 03 Apr 2015 00:00

Rosine Assemekang never understood the Western ideal of beauty. For this Congolese woman, those tall, thin girls’ did not represent African women.

“Our women have curves, ample bottoms. African men like la femme forte (a strong woman),” she said.

While Europe is struggling against anorexia - France, following the steps of Israel in 2013, recently passed a law banning excessively thin fashion models, exposing modelling agents and fashion houses that hire them to possible fines and even jail - Africa praises curvy women. Seven years ago Rosine started a beauty pageant with the idea of showing how these "femmes fortes" were completely capable of modelling and catwalking. The Miss Mama Kilo pageant was born. Seven years later it's become one of Brazzaville's most exclusive events. Tickets ranged from 80 to 160 Euros for the ceremony held at the Continental Palace, one of Brazzaville's best hotels, where this year 18 contestants ranging from 100 to 170 kg represented five countries - Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Benin and Central African Republic - participated in the contest. Shopkeepers, hairdressers, teachers, cooks and even a comedian walked down the runway and stood for their ideals towards beauty.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 01
Brazzaville
By Patrick
26 Mar 2015

This year´s edition drew contestants from five countries: Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Benin and the Central African Republic.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 02
Brazzaville
By Patrick
25 Mar 2015

Contestants rehearse twice a week at Rosine´s restaurant in Brazzaville.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 03
Brazzaville
By Patrick
25 Mar 2015

Rehearsals become an attraction in the neighbourhood.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 04
Brazzaville
By Patrick
26 Mar 2015

Stella Amoussou is from Porto Novo, Benin. She moved to Brazzaville 15 years ago. Rosine approached her in the street and asked her to be part of this year´s Miss Mama Kilo.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 05
Brazzaville
By Patrick
01 Apr 2015

Stella Amoussou, from Porto Novo, Benin, runs a little cosmetic shop in Brazzaville with her family.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 06
Brazzaville
By Patrick
01 Apr 2015

Julie Mangono, a comedian from Kinshasa, and Stella are close. Miss Mama Kilo has a friendly atmosphere where contestants always help each other out.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 07
Brazzaville
By Patrick
02 Apr 2015

The last rehearsal takes place at the Olympic Palace Hotel the day before the ceremony.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 08
Brazzaville
By Patrick
02 Apr 2015

Magalie Opangot from Republic of Congo (left) and Jenny Elongo from Central African Republic share a moment together during rehearsal. It´s the third time they participate side by side in Miss Mama Kilo.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 09
Brazzaville
By Patrick
02 Apr 2015

Rosine surveys the runway during the last rehearsal at the Continental Palace Hotel. She directs contestants with a firm hand at all times.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 10
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

Preparations continue until the day of the event at the Olympic Palace Hotel.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 11
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

The event starts at 19H00, however contestants arrive early in the morning to get their hair and make up done.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 12
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

Two contestants help each other prepare their hair in the backstage area of Miss Mama Kilo 2015.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 13
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

Make up artists work all night on the day of Miss Mama Kilo. The event has 6 wardrobe changes, and contestants' makeup has to match each style.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 14
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

Stella waits with the other contestants in anticipation, just moments before going on stage.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 15
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

All 18 contestants carry their countries' flags. Republic of Congo was the most represented with five contestants.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 16
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

DRC contestants Soudi Fatou (left) and Thethe Ntumba talk backstage between acts.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 17
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

Stella gets her make up done for the “native” part of the event, where music from all 5 countries is played.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 18
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

One of the many wardrobe changes that take place during the event.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 19
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

The view from backstage as participants in Miss Mama Kilo 2015 enter the stage.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 20
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

The "native" performance is the last act contestants have to perform alone in front judges and a packed crowd.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 21
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

Soudi Fatou dances during the native performance. This year's jury came from Mali, Ivory Coast and Benin.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 22
Brazzaville
By Patrick
04 Apr 2015

Nelly Okombi, from Republic of Congo, won the 7th edition of Miss Mama Kilo. As the new Miss Mama Kilo, she gets a weekend trip to Paris offered by one of the sponsors. This is Congo's third crown in seven years, but all of the contestants received cash prizes regardless of the their result.

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Miss Mama Kilo 2015 23
Brazzaville
By Patrick
03 Apr 2015

Nelly Okombi from Congo took home the title of Miss Mama Kilo 2015.