CITY OF CAUAYAN, Isabela–A college student in San Mateo town, Isabela province has expressed elation over the winning national costume that he designed for Maristella Okpala, Nigeria’s representative to the recently concluded Miss Universe 2021 in Eilat, Israel.
“Thank you Lord! Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala talaga.(U)miiyak ako kanina habang kayakap si mama ..thank you sa lahat ng mga bumati,” wrote Kennedy Jhon Gasper on his Facebook page.
Gasper is taking up BS Fashion and Textile Technology major in Fashion Design at the Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija.
The national costume he designed for Okpala was made of African beads, stones and crafts, and was inspired by a famous traditional masquerade of the southeastern tribe of Nigeria called “Mmanwa.”
Mmanwa is a female masquerade costume designed especially for ceremonial and festive activities. It is meant to celebrate the rich Nigerian cultural heritage and highlight the strength that women possess.
Gasper’s creation featured a 3-foot tribal mask that was accompanied by the colorful ancient back cape with Mmanwa’s face boldly crested on the mask and cape.
Last year, Gasper also designed the national costume of Miss Cameroon who competed in Miss Universe 2020.
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