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Showcasing Sabah’s culture at Miss World
Published on: Monday, February 05, 2024
By: Anthea Peter, Lisa Aveline Rabenjoro
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Showcasing Sabah’s culture at Miss World
Miss World Malaysia 2022 Wenanita Angang, is set to compete in the 71st Miss World pageant in New Delhi on March 9. - Pic (right) is courtesy of Miss World Malaysia Official Page (FB)
Kota Kinabalu: Sabahan beauty Wenanita Angang, who reigns as Miss World Malaysia 2022, is set to represent Malaysia and showcase Sabah’s culture at the 71st Miss World pageant on March 9 in New Delhi. 

Since she was crowned the prestigious title in August 2022, Wenanita has remained steadfast in her preparations to compete on the international stage in the past year. 

“I have been working daily to prepare myself to present (Malaysia) on the world stage. Every single day I remind myself that I need to experience what Malaysia can bring by having my own experiences and amplifying it on the international stage. 

“My hope is that I am able to represent Malaysia to its fullest potential and showcase the piece of Malaysia that I have experienced my whole life, what I have seen and learned through our culture and people,” she told Daily Express.

Wenanita, 27, who hails from Kuala Penyu, said she will be performing an ethno-traditional dance inspired by the Murut ethnic group during the talent round of the upcoming competition. 

“I am so excited to showcase our Sabahan culture as well as part of Malaysia, as it is something very interesting and brings a different element to the international stage,” she said. 

On top of a successful eight-year pursuit in pageantry, Wenanita is a data scientist based in Kuala Lumpur. She has found that effective time management is key to balancing both her pageantry duties and her day job. 

“I am not going to lie, as a normal human being I struggled in the beginning of my pageant journey. But over time I have learned to take care of my scheduling.

Segregating your time takes effort, and it takes daily practice as it is not something you can achieve in a day,” she said. 

A strong believer in social change-making, Wenanita has long advocated for the awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of the Malaysian autistic community, particularly hippotherapy for autistic children.

Her activism journey began at Hospital Mesra Bukit Padang, where she fundraised for and implemented hippotherapy programmes with her Beauty With A Purpose project. 

She has since broadened her advocacy from Sabah to West Malaysia, citing her wish to live up to her national title and be a spokesperson for the country’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community.

“I got into contact with the National Autism Society of Malaysia, and now work with a lot of different centres in order to educate myself better and be able to present both the challenges and solutions we can find for this community.

“I would like to showcase this internationally at the Miss World pageant so that greater awareness can be achieved,” she said.

Wenanita has gone further than most Sabahan beauty queens, being only the second Sabahan to make it to the Miss World international stage since the pageant’s inception in 1951.

Her advice to other women who wish to follow in her footsteps is to have the grit and perseverance. 

“Things will never come easy if it is worth it. You will always have to work hard and of course saying it is easier than actually doing it. But have the grit to wake up every day knowing that you are closer to your goal for as long as you don’t give up,” she said. 

In Wenanita’s pageantry journey, which began in 2016, the most valuable lesson she has learned is to always bring your best, authentic self. 

“The more authentic you are the more relatable you become. This is my own advocacy as Miss World Malaysia, which is to be relatable so other people can learn from my life lessons as well. 

“I’m not just showcasing the best of myself, but I will tell you exactly my failures and all of my low moments if you ever asked me. I’m very open over these things because I want people to know that they’re not alone, when they’re not in the highest peaks of their life,” she said. 

Wenanita said the top challenge she has experienced in years of pageantry is that people often forget that beauty queens are also human. 

“We also have moments where we may not feel like our best selves, but we are constantly trying. And we’re not just trying for ourselves, especially when you hold a national title like Miss World Malaysia. You’re no longer just carrying yourself. You’re carrying the hopes of a whole nation. 

“That requires a lot of perseverance especially when it comes to your mentality. In order for us to represent the country to the best of our abilities, we would love the ultimate support of our people and just know that we are trying our best even though it’s not perfect,” she said. 

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