WENDY CHANDA – FORNARI, the local agent for Andella Chileshe, Zambia’s representative at the just ended miss universe has ‘dethroned’ the beauty queen.
In a press statement made available to the Watchdog, Wendy stated that Andella is instructed to immediately cease all reference to herself as Miss Universe Zambia 2009 and any further use of the title including, but not limited to social networking sites such as face book, myspace etc web sites, Giving press interviews is hereby prohibited. In short Andella may no longer use the title of Miss Universe Zambia in any way, shape or form, any existing post on the internet referring to her or using the word “Miss universe Zambia” or any variation and or photos of Miss Universe should also be removed from her Face book page and any other social networking sites within 72 hours.
The press statement in full is reproduced below:
Miss Universe Zambia thanks all sponsors and supporters in their corporate or personal efforts made to send yet another Zambian representative to the Miss Universe Pageant which was held in the Bahamas from the 1st – 23rd of August 2009.
The Miss Universe Pageant is one of the most glamorous and successful pageants in the world and country representatives have not only come out with unimaginable opportunities once they participate but it also puts the participant’s country on the world spot light. It therefore also serves as an important tourism marketing tool especially when the country representative advances further through to the semi finals and eventually to the finals and hopefully wins.
Whilst Miss Universe Zambia has in the past sent a country representative to the Miss Universe Pageants with great pleasure and honor, it has regrettably not turned out as expected in our current representative for the Miss Universe Pageant, Andella Chileshe Mathews. Andella’s behavior in the last few weeks has amounted to gross insubordination. To add on to that unwarranted interference from her family and close relatives who have continued to circulate malicious and false innuendos is unacceptable.
Wearing the title of miss universe Zambia is a significant responsibility and impacts not only the title holder but the organization, the country and indeed the Miss Universe Organization in new York. For this reason we expect a certain level of conduct from all our title holders so as not to tarnish the brand and image of the organization.
On 9th August Andella’s mother decided to send a letter to the Zambian public addressing them with a letter that read “why did my daughter suffer to represent Zambia” In that letter she goes on to state that I, Wendy Chanda-Fornari, have misappropriated funds that were to be used for Andellas participation in the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant. As an organisation that relies on the goodwill and support of sponsors this has caused unimaginable damage to our reputation and not only to our organisation but also to the pageant industry as a whole as these allegations are false and are willful and malicious . This letter has hence caused prospective sponsors like Zesco and Madison Insurance to withdraw their support.
I have considered the circumstances of the above and have come to the conclusion that the above is totally unacceptable behavior and feel that our professional working relationship has been irrevocably damaged by this unfortunate series of events, and therefore any future objective can no longer be realised with Andella Chileshe-Matthews as the title holder.
In the light of transparency, below is a list of the major expenses for Andella’s trip and a list of the sponsors and amounts they pledged.
We therefore would like Andella’s mother to tell us the named sponsors she claimed we received monies from, the amounts, and who exactly they gave that money to.
The expenses as follows:
License and registration fees $4,900
Air ticket for Andella (lsk-Lon) $850
Air ticket for Andella (Lon-Nassau) $2000
National Gift and copper ornaments $500
Transportation of national gift $350
These are the major expenses, we have not even looked at other expenses like pocket money for the contestant, makeup and wardrobe. Andella’s mother also talks about £3000 that her daughter used in flights to travel to Zambia.
Sponsors who provided us with cheques:
Toyota Zambia $1000 (paid directly to Kenya Airways for London trip)
Redd’s (Zambian Breweries) $2000 (issued to us on 17 August)
Manzi $1000 (issued to us on 31st July)
Kafue Camps $500 (used to pay for the National gift and copper ornaments)
As per the breakdown, it is clear to see that sponsors cheques are not even sufficient to meet our expenses. I personally paid for Andellas ticket to the Bahamas using my personal debit card as well as the licence fees which were paid directly to the Miss Universe Organisation from my family account on 10th May 2009. (of which I have proof for anyone to see)
As per the Barclays bank account which was only opened on 13th August, after weeks of waiting and finally talking to a branch manager, I too have proof of the same and contact persons that you can speak to as to why the account took ages to open.
Andella’s mother goes on to say that I had abused her daughter verbally and in writing and that she has proof of emails and text messages…Firstly, if I did abuse Andella, why didn’t she herself tell the public via the media before she left and secondly why didn’t she opt out of representing Zambia? There were opportunities where she could have spoken out like at the send off cocktail or just privately to the media. Thirdly, why didn’t she speak to anyone of the team as to what was happening and send the said emails and texts? We have sent a number of girls to various pageants around the world and yet none have come up with such accusations and we have still retained a good relationship even after their reigns.
No contestant is under any obligation to represent Zambia if they do not want to or are forced to or threatened in any way. There is a contract that is signed by the contestant before she competes in any pageant around the world.
The Miss Universe Zambia also has the responsibility to ensure that a National costume is prepared for all candidates representing Zambia, which was done, hence the decision by Andella to dump her national costume agreed and designed by the collaborative efforts of some of Zambia’s finest designers is considered a gross error in judgment. Amongst other things, she has chosen not to respect the directives of her National Director. Each year we select a queen who reports directly to and is accountable to the National Director irrespective of if one carries a title from another pageant or not.
Beyond participating in the Miss Universe Pageant, there are social issues and responsibilities that we expect and indeed the Zambian people expect every representative to fulfill.
The Miss Universe Pageant places great emphasis on behaviors and co-ordination of its participants. To prevent further reputational damage to our sponsors, Miss Universe Zambia and the Miss Universe Organisation, for this reason I wish to formally inform you that as the exclusive National Director and franchise holder for the Miss Universe Zambia organization, I am officially dethroning Andella as of today’s date, 23rd August 2009 and the first princess Sthabiso Mteliso will immediately assume the title responsibilities and all duties.
Andella is hereby instructed to immediately cease all reference to herself as Miss Universe Zambia 2009 and any further use of the title including, but not limited to social networking sites such as face book, myspace etc web sites, Giving press interviews is hereby prohibited. In short Andella may no longer use the title of Miss Universe Zambia in any way, shape or form, any existing post on the internet referring to her or using the word “Miss universe Zambia” or any variation and or photos of Miss Universe should also be removed from her Face book page and any other social networking sites within 72 hours.
Any persons wishing to use Andella under the names of Miss Universe Zambia 2009, does it at their own risk.
We hope this will somehow answer questions that people have had during this period but should anyone want to ask further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Miss Universe Zambia Organisation.
WENDY CHANDA – FORNARI
MISS UNIVERSE ZAMBIA NATIONAL DIRECTOR and FRANCHISE HOLDER