Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a celebration of the elderly and proof of the enduring beauty that transcends age, Madam Daphne Joya Pratt, a former social worker from Mountain Cut Community, has been crowned as Miss Old is Gold at the 3rd edition of the Dorwontony Organization for the Aged (DOFA) beauty pageant, which recently took place at the Freetown City Council Auditorium on Lightfoot Boston Street, in Freetown.
In his address at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of DOFA, Madam Doreen S. Barrie, noted that the significance of the pageant goes beyond glamour, adding that “it was organized to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, an event declared and celebrated annually by the United Nations.”
Furthermore, she pointed out that the beauty pageant is a means to challenge the misconception that the elderly should remain isolated and inactive.
According to her, DOFA aims to cater for the interests, welfare, and dignity of elderly people in Sierra Leone through advocacy, legal aid, and livelihood support and to ensure that the elderly are loved and cared for at every level of society. “They deserve all the care and respect,” she stressed.
Reverend Father Peter Conteh, the Board Chairman of DOFA, highlighted the organization’s vision which is to value and respect senior citizens who have in different ways contributed significantly to the development of the country.
The Minister of Social Welfare, Madam Melrose Karminty, echoed the importance of respecting the elderly. Acknowledging that one of the challenges in the country is the declining respect for elderly individuals, she reaffirmed her ministry’s commitment to upholding the rights of the aged.
Speaking to Awoko with a radiant smile, Madam Pratt expressed, “This victory means more than just a title to me because it is proof of the beauty that comes with age and experience. Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of helping so many people, and now, as a representative of ‘Old is Gold,’ I can continue to inspire others to embrace their senior years with grace and confidence. Age is no barrier to being vibrant and beautiful, both inside and out, and I hope to use this platform to spread that message far and wide.”
The event brought together contestants over 60 years of age from five communities including Aberdeen, Magazine Cut, Congo Town Community, and the Peninsular Community.
Sierra Leone may have faced challenges in caring for its elderly citizens, but events like the Miss Old is Gold pageant emphasize the need to honour and cherish the seniors who have played a crucial role. PSN/21/10/2023