2019 Miss Fiji committee announces pageant judges

Rowie Lal, Zulfikar Ali, Anna Sweetman, Merewalesi Nailatikau and Peni Tawake. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE judges for this year’s Miss Fiji Pageant  have been selected.

The Miss Fiji pageant committee in a statement on the Miss Fiji Pageant Facebook page said the judges were selected on their skills and experience in their professional fields.

“We believe that this is essential to finding a Miss Fiji who is not only beautiful and poised on stage but also their intelligence and talents,” the committee said.

The judges coordinator is 2016 Miss Hibiscus, Miss Fiji and Miss Pacific Islands winner, Anne Dunn.

The judges for the Miss Fiji Pageant 2019 are:

1. Zulfikar Ali – With nearly 30 years in clothing retail, Ali is a household name in high-end ethnic fashion and design. His very first personal collection was launched in 2012. In 2014 his Label AZA was launched to huge fanfare. He has styled and created looks from weddings to Television.

2. Rowie Lal – Is an ambitious businesswoman, passionate fashion designer, a crafts maker and an artist. She is the first fashion designer in Fiji to introduce Fashion Transparency in her brand supply chain. She is Fiji’s Country Coordinator under the global movement, Fashion Revolution. Her current project Sustainable Fashion presents ethical fashion development to young emerging fashion designers and traditional artisans. This project has also influenced the Miss Fiji Pageant’s Fashion Luncheon. She is currently building a team of contributing individuals who are fashion designers, artisans, influencers, NGOs, politicians, policymakers and educators to ethically transform Fiji’s fashion industry to value people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.

3. Merewalesi Nailatikau – She works in media and communications. Over the last 16 years, she has worked communications-related roles in print, radio, audiovisual media and public diplomacy. In 2009, she was crowned Miss Hibiscus and later the same year was awarded the title of Miss South Pacific after representing her country as Miss Fiji. Mere is an avid reader, podcast listener, and global news junkie who enjoys the arts. She also serves as Curator for TEDx Suva.

4. Peni Tawake – Peni Tawake is a development professional with over 10 years of experience working across a number of Pacific Island Countries providing strategic and operational support to a number of local organisations and associations. He has also spent 7 years working in media and communications. Peni is a former Toast Master and founding member of the Capital Toastmasters Club.

5. Anna Sweetman – Is the original Queen of Fashion. She is highly regarded as one of the founders of the Fijian fashion industry, organising all the early fashion shows of the 1980s. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Hibiscus fashion shows, the premier event for Style at the time. Mrs Sweetman is credited by all the original supermodels, such as Zelda Thomas, Sandhya Nand, Marlene Vuniwaqa, Grace Dun, and others of their league as their mentor and first agent. She is now a patron of the Fashion Council of Fiji and the Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival.

The panel also includes, Talei Draunibaka of the band Nem and Talei, who joins the panel as the Talent Judge during the week.

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