The grand finale of the 2023/2024 Mr. & Miss IUEA pageant was a spectacular success that showcased the diverse beauty within IUEA.
Mr. IUEA, Michael Junior Musimenta and Miss IUEA, Ililta Nezerab Masalab sit on their thrones surrounded by the first and second runners-up and the former Miss IUEA.

The International University of East Africa (IUEA) held the finale of its 2023 Mr. & Miss IUEA pageant on the 17th of November. Organised by IUEA with the help of its Student Guild Office, this event provides a platform for students to showcase their gifts outside the classroom. After two rounds of auditions, each of the 28 talented finalists showed off uniquely inspired fashions and incredible talent as they went head to head for the crown. This resulted in a show even more amazing than Mr. & Miss IUEA 2022. In this blog, we highlight some of the memorable moments that transpired during the event.

Contestant No.3, Miss Mikal Tesfay from Eritrea models across the red carpet during the Mr. & Miss IUEA beauty pageant and talent show.

What is Mr. & Miss IUEA?

The Mr. & Miss IUEA competition is a beauty pageant and talent show in which students compete to be the face of the university for an entire academic year and a full scholarship. Having been started eight years ago, there have been over 5 Kings and Queens crowned at these events.

This year’s theme “Unity in Diversity: Crowning Beauty Beyond Borders” was a perfect reflection of the rich cultural diversity represented by the 28 contestants hailing from seven different countries and a clear depiction of IUEA’s pride in having a diverse student body.

Miss Mikal Tesfay, along with the other contestants, is awarded a certificate of appreciation for the remarkable grace, elegance and poise she displayed during the Mr. & Miss IUEA 2023/2024 beauty pageant and talent show.

What talents were showcased during the event?

Keeping with the theme of unity, this year’s talent show saw contestants coming together to enact an ethnocentric play choreographed by a professional instructor. In line with the theme of diversity, the play featured a reenactment of a scene from Black Panther, a popular western film celebrated for being a record breaking success that centres around African culture. Despite being competitors, each performer played their role flawlessly, humbly affording others a moment to shine.

Mr. and Miss IUEA contestants reenact the warrior falls sequence from the popular 2018 film Black Panther during the talent show portion of the beauty pageant.

What happened during the fashion show?

Smartly dressed contestants modelled along the runway during the dinner-wear portion of the fashion show. The men dressed in three-piece suits while the women wore elegant evening gowns & dresses.

This year’s beachwear category was titled “Night at the Havana” adding a tropical feel to the event. In response, contestants wore some beautifully unconventional clothing.

Contestant No. 20, Muhanad Mohammad wows the crowd by modelling down the runway in a stunning royal blue suit with a deep black bowtie during the Mr. & Miss IUEA beauty pageant and talent show.

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IUEA’s culture of innovation was on display during the creative wear portion of the fashion show. Attendees witnessed sustainability as a fashion choice as competitors strutted across the runaway in uniquely stunning designs made from balloons, vegetation and even recycled plastic bottles.

Contestant No. 7, Pelagi Bofenda models along the runaway in a beautifully eccentric outfit made of balloons.

Who were the Judges?

IUEA and the Student’s Guild Office selected a diverse panel of expert judges to preside over the event, ensuring a fair and informed verdict. This panel included:

  • Joram Muzira Job, Joram Modelling Agency (JMM)
  • Victoria Fox
  • Chef Idros
  • Judith Heard
Mr. IUEA, his majesty king Michael Junior Musimenta addresses his subjects as the 2023/2024 Mr. & Miss IUEA beauty pageant and talent show draws to a close.

Who was crowned Mr. & Miss IUEA?

The moment everyone had been eagerly waiting for arrived with the announcement of the new Mr. & Miss IUEA. Mr. Michael Junior Musimenta from Uganda was crowned Mr. IUEA, while Madam Ililta Nezerab Masalab from Eritrea was crowned Miss IUEA.

Madam Ililta Nezerab Masalab is crowned Miss IUEA 2023/2024 during the Mr. & Miss IUEA beauty pageant and talent show.

“…with grace and dedication, I accept this title and am excited to contribute positively to our university’s growth and success.”

– Said Miss IUEA, Madam Ililta Nezerab Masalab from Eritrea during her acceptance speech.

The new King and Queen were not the only ones celebrated. The winners of the other categories were also given their moment in the spotlight.

The event was a spectacular success, a dazzling start to the reign of the new monarchs. But regardless of who the victors were, the passion and zeal of all the contestants created a thrilling and unforgettable experience for everyone involved. With great enthusiasm the new King and Queen start their reign and we are excited to see what their first decree will be.

Their Majesty, Mr. and Miss IUEA 2023/2024 stand with the former Mr. and Miss IUEA, the first runner-up for Miss IUEA 2022/2023, the first runner-up for Miss IUEA 2023/2024 and the second runner-up for Miss IUEA 2023/2024, Elsir Margaret.

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