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    20-year-old Pinoy made Miss Universe Nigeria's winning national costume

    MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino designer created Miss Universe Nigeria's winning national costume.

    20-year-old Pinoy made Miss Universe Nigeria's winning national costume

    Out of the 80 beauty queens who donned their stunning national costumes during the 70th Miss Universe, Miss Nigeria Maristella Okpala bagged the grand prize. She was awarded the Best in National Costume during the coronation night on Monday, December 13 (Manila time).

    Miss Nigeria won Best in National Costume at the 70th Miss Universe
    Miss Nigeria won Best in National Costume at the 70th Miss Universe | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Kennedy Jhon Gasper

    The Nigerian beauty queen impressed the judges with her eye-catching “Mmanwa'' look. It was inspired by a famous traditional masquerade of a southeastern tribe in Nigeria.

    A tribal mask with colorful cape and colorful patterns and embellishments that "portray the African dashiki which offers a visual appeal and forms meant to invoke the ancestral spirits" are part of the ensemble.

    But what made the Pinoy pageant fans more interested is the fact that the masterpiece was made by a Filipino student.

    The Pinoy designer behind the winning piece is Kennedy Jhon Gasper. His name also became popular during the last Miss Universe pageant when he made the incredible “Lioness” national costume for Miss Universe Cameroon 2020 Kossinda Angeles.

    20-year-old student created Miss Nigeria's Best National Costume
    20-year-old student created Miss Nigeria's Best National Costume | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/ Kennedy Jhon Gasper

    The 20-year-old is a third-year college student from Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija.

    On Instagram, Kennedy explained that he made the costume out of African beads, stones and crafts. It was a symbolism of a woman's strength and courage in achieving their dreams. It also represents the overcoming cultural adversities such as child slavery and mutilation.

    "I picked this particular costume because I see a self-reflection of my cause in this Mmanwa who protects children and women against any form of abuse," he wrote.

    "This costume pays attention to the strong will of women in attaining whatever height they want to attain, no matter the challenges faced while reaching their desired goals," he added.

    On Facebook, Kennedy became more personal and expressed his overwhelming emotions after his piece won the national costume award.

    He wrote, "Thank you Lord! Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala talaga. Umiiyak ako kanina habang kayakap si mama. Thank you sa lahat ng mga bumati!"

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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