MGIS finalist Stepheni Johari takes Miss CityONE title
By Jude Toyat
“Selamat Datai, which means welcome everyone. I am Stepheni Johari, and today I am proudly representing my Iban culture that lives in this beautiful Land of Hornbill,” began the 24-year-old finalist during the Miss Global International Sarawak (MGIS) national costume presentation on April 18 held at CityONE Megamall.
“Lulong was a fairy maiden, her beauty was beyond compare; her heart so kind and that kindness could not be described. Despite her beauty and grace, she was also well known as a fighter who fought for her people and protected them. She also helped the Dayak Ibans to be successful in life and adventures.
“In honor of her name, this costume is called the ‘Diversity of Lulong’.”
Besides showing off their national costumes, MGIS finalists were also allotted three minutes to share and amaze the judges with the story behind their spectacular costumes. Stepheni won best speech and presentation, winning the Miss CityONE title and bagging a cash prize of RM250 and becoming the mall’s ambassador for a year.
Stepheni is one of the five finalists who will compete for the Best National Costume subsidiary title during the MGIS grand finale to be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on May 21.
The other four finalists include Genevieve Gerald Wilson Unting who was also announced as Miss Popular with 830 votes, as well as Ellna Jiway, Cammielye Oliver Rega and Martina Litad Balang.
The national costume presentation saw 14 other finalists presenting their creative costumes including Ainaa L. Tacia, Anny Wong Wei Wei, Christina Dana Paulus Ripos, Claudia Gan, Decharmene Gibson, Emerald Sie Rou Xiu, Ezza Hunny, Marzella Sigai, Paula Nanie Entia Nating, Pauline Nanie Mula Nating, Phrisillia Mujan Peter, Raden Atul, Shayndee Dunstan, Valerina Aren Alfred, and Wendy Ling Jia Jing.
The judges were CityONE Megamall general manager Timothy Wong, Miss Malaysia World Photogenic 2010 Janet Bennet and interior designer Gilbert Francis.
For Miss Global International Malaysia 2013 Charissa Chong who came all the way from Kuala Lumpur to support and watch the national costume presentation, the pageant has changed her as a person.
“Before I joined the competition, I was a very shy person and had very low self esteem. But through the pageant, it groomed me to become a lady. I learned to present myself well, to speak publicly and confidently, to deal with people professionally, as well as improve my catwalk,” she said when interviewed by The Borneo Post SEEDS.
Chong, 21, was recently named as one of the Top 5 finalists for Miss Asean 2014 held recently in Thailand. Apart from that, Chong has also participated in other beauty pageants which include Miss Globe International 2013 in Albania, Miss International 2013 in Japan and Miss University 2014 in Korea.
She is currently pursuing her studies in Diploma in Mass Communication at INTI College Subang and hopes that she will get the chance to represent Malaysia in many other competitions after she completes her studies, which is her main priority for now.
“I have three pieces of advice for the finalists; the first is to always look your best and dress to impress. First impression matters. When people look at you, they want to see a queen, so no matter what, you have to smile and always look your best.
“Secondly, always have confidence in yourself. Believe in yourself and let your personality shine. Always know that you are good enough. Your confidence is very important.
“Last but not least, is to always remain humble. Attitude is very important as a queen. No one wants a queen who is cocky, so you always have to remain humble. Remember where you came from before you were even a queen, that is also very important,” Chong added.
MGIS director Nicky Everett, Anna Sue Jewellery founder Datin Anna Sue and Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) general manager Jane Lian Labang also attended the event.
Grand Final tickets are on sale priced at RM300 per table or RM40 to RM100 per ticket, and can be purchased from the organisers Nicky (0138220787), Akim (0198444771), or Gebriel (0168778341) also from any MGIS finalists.