Rosine Assemekang never understood the Western ideal of beauty. For this Congolese woman, those tall, thin girls’ did not represent African women. “Our women have curves, ample bottoms. African men like la femme forte”.
While Europe is struggling against anorexia –France, following the steps of Israel in 2013, recently passed a law banning excessively thin fashion models, exposing modelling agents and fashion houses that hire them to possible fines and even jail- Africa praises curvy women. Seven years ago Rosine started a beauty pageant with the idea of showing how those femme fortes were completely capable of modelling and catwalking: Miss Mama Kilo was born.
Seven years later it´s become one of Brazzaville´s most exclusive events. Tickets range from 80 to 160 Euros and the ceremony is held at the Continental Palace, one of Brazzaville´s best hotel, where this year 18 contestants ranging from 100 to 170 kg represented five countries -Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Benin and Central African Republic-. Shopkeepers, hairdressers, teachers, cooks and even a comedian walked down the runway and stood for beauty.