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Miss Africa Utah steps down, Miss Ethiopia takes her place

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Muluwerk Hale, Miss Ethiopia, in the Miss Africa Utah Pageant, at the University of Utah Union Ballroom, Saturday, March 8, 2014. one of nine women competing for the title of Miss Africa Utah, sponsored by the African Chamber of Commerce Utah in collaboration with the African Student Union of the University of Utah, the pageant is in its fourth year.

By Sheena McFarland

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 21 2014 02:30PM
Updated Mar 23, 2014 06:52PM

Miss Africa Utah reigned in the Beehive State for only about two weeks.

Winnet Murahwa, who entered the March 8 competition as Miss Zimbabwe, beat out eight other contestants to win the African Chamber of Commerce’s beauty competition. However, she announced she was stepping down.

"After carefully contemplating on my responsibilities as the queen, I realized that I cannot fulfill all the responsibilities expected of me due to personal reasons," Murahwa said in a statement.

Taking her place is second runner-up Miss Ethiopia, Muluwerk Hale. She was crowned because the first runner-up, Miss Sierra Leone, is moving to Britain.

Miss Africa Utah is expected to make media and public appearances and pursue her platform.

The crowning ceremony was Friday afternoon at One World Gifts in Salt Lake City.

The Miss Africa Utah pageant aims to promote diverse African cultures and help young women earn scholarship money.

"Through the Miss Africa Utah pageant, young African beauties are given the opportunity to share their culture, their pride, their accomplishments, and, above all, the platform they want to pursue," organizers said in a statement.

smcfarland@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sheena5427

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