Aletta Shikololo and Paheja Siririka
International award-winning model Jessica Uiras told Entertainment Now! her manager has dropped her and no longer represents her because she took part in the #ShutItAllDown protest.
The #ShutItAllDown protest was a chain of protests by young Namibians condemning the surge of gender-based violence against women and children, which was ignited by the discovery of the human remains of Shannon Wasserfall at the coastal region, eventually prompting a nationwide conversation about SGBV, femicide and overall safety of women in the country.
According to Uiras, her then manager claimed that taking part in such an activity might make her vulnerable and lose a chance of being part of bigger pageants.
‘You associated yourself with those things; your Twitter handle and what you tweet is unethical. You can kiss that Miss Namibia crown goodbye,’ alleged a phone conversation by Uiras’manager to her, further stating that as a model, she is not supposed to protest.
Uiras informed this publication that her manager first warned her of the implications associated with taking part in such a protest. In a message shown to Entertainment Now! by Uiras from her manager, it stated that “I dropped you as my client and I don’t think I need to answer to the press. I cannot work with a model who does not take my advice seriously. I knew better as your manager; I have worked with so many models. Also, that was my opinion as your ex-manager”
There were rumours lingering that the Miss Namibia pageant has dropped some contestants that were later clarified when a Twitter user misunderstood the available information. However, Connie Maritz assured that although there are ongoing entries to next year’s Miss Namibia, there haven’t been restrictions of that sort to contestants.
Speaking to Entertainment Now!, the director of Miss and Mr Face of Namibia, Marchell Coetzee, disapproved the matter, saying that models have all rights to take part in protests or air their views on matters that concern the society; however, they are only restricted to take part in politics.
“There are absolutely no restrictions to any of our finalist or models to take part in any protests or politically-driven movements. We are an organisation that encourages change and advocacy of our models. We take pride in young leaders and youth speakers.’’
“We would encourage other organisations or managers to share the same sentiments; however, we do not condemn them for whichever way they choose to sustain an image for their brands,’’ he ended.