A year ago, on August 23rd, the first Miss Grand Nepal pageant took place in Kathmandu. Nepal had been sending its delegates to Miss Grand International earlier as well but it was for the first time when the competition officially took place in Nepal. Zeenus Lama bagged the title of Miss Grand International 2016 in the finale that took place at Hyatt Regency. She was crowned by Miss Grand International 2015 Claire Elizabeth Parker in the event organized by Looks International.
After winning the title, Lama was to represent Nepal at Miss Grand International in Last Vegas, USA in October. But nothing went as planned and she was not able to take part in the international pageant. “Nobody clearly knows what exactly happened after I won Miss Grand Nepal 2016. I wasn’t able to represent Nepal last year because of various internal and external factors. My visa was rejected. I don’t want to belittle anybody here but whoever reads your article will understand what I am trying to say”, she told NeoStuffs.
“Miss Grand International canceled the license of National Director of Miss Grand Nepal for not being able to pay me the prize money that was announced for the winner”, she further added. “And then I was blamed and humiliated for the things I was not responsible for.”
On the brighter side, this year Lama has been invited by the Miss Grand International Organization directly to represent Nepal at this year’s pageant that is scheduled in October in Vietnam. She has been given the title of Miss Grand Nepal 2017 by the pageant organization headquartered in Thailand.
“Even after everything I had to go through, I feel like 2016 was a good year. I got to learn a lot of things. I learned that in the process of growing, you have to remember to stay strong, brave and authentic; and no matter where you go or who you become in the future, never forget your ground, always remember where you come from.”
As there’s no local organization or national director involved now, Lama has to take care of all the expenses herself. She is positive that she will be able to represent Nepal well and hopes to make the nation proud.
The 25-year-old Journalism and Mass Communication student at White House College in Kathmandu is originally from Chitwan. She is working as the Marketing Manager at Organic World & Fair Future. She has also been engaged in various charity events and campaigns.
In last one year, Lama has proved herself to be a strong and independent woman who has gone through highs and lows in the world of pageantry; but was brave enough to go through it all and may a way for herself. We wish this ‘one woman army’ all the best for the international competition.
More power to you, Zeenus.
Photographs: Meilan Lama and Aayush Shrestha