Fashion Insider: Miss World Malaysia 2022 Wenanita Angang on how to celebrate Kaamatan in style

Raising Malaysia's tiara


By Benedict Unang

Featured images courtesy of Wenanita Angang
Fashion Insider: Miss World Malaysia 2022 Wenanita Angang on how to celebrate Kaamatan in style

Did you know that Miss World is the oldest international beauty pageant that is still going strong today? The Miss World Organisation has celebrated the beauty of women since 1951, and in recent years, the competition has evolved into a platform to empower women while also celebrating diversity and intelligence. 

The beauty pageant scene in Malaysia may not be quite as big as in neighbouring countries, but we have set a few records on the international stage, from Lina Teoh’s second runner-up win in Miss World 1998 to Deborah Henry’s Top 15 finish in Miss World 2007. Our hopes for this year rest with the current Miss World Malaysia—Wenanita Angang, who will represent the country at the 71st Miss World pageant later this year in India. 

The Sabah lass isn’t a newcomer to pageants, having previously waved the country’s flag for Miss Planet in 2016 and finished as the first runner-up before joining Unduk Ngadau—a cultural pageant in 2018, as well as Miss Tourism and Culture Universe in the following year. Behind the glitz and glamour, the beauty pageant veteran works as a data scientist and has been devoted to ‘Making Sense Malaysia’—an initiative that seeks to improve and celebrate the lives of those who are within the autism spectrum.

Ahead, we caught up with the reigning Miss World Malaysia 2022 on the highs and lows of the beauty pageant, her preparations for the international stage and how to look stylish this Kaamatan. 



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A post shared by Wenanita Angang (@wenanitaangang)


What was your first fashion memory?

“My first fashion memory dates back to when I was six years old. I had only flown once or twice from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur at the time, and I was in absolute awe of the women strutting around the big city in their lavish dresses and high-heeled shoes! I wanted to look just like them, but my mother couldn’t find those pieces in children’s sizes, so she bought a lip gloss instead, which happened to be my first ever beauty product!”


How would you describe your personal style? 

“I have always prioritised comfort over anything else, but over time, I’ve experimented with many looks to figure out which one works best for me. As I have a bottom hourglass figure, I tend to gravitate towards form-fitting dresses or bottoms that accentuate the overall appearance.”


How are your preparations for the upcoming Miss World pageant coming along? 

“Since winning the title of Miss World Malaysia 2022 last year in my beautiful hometown of Kota Kinabalu, I have been rigorously training for the upcoming Miss World 2023 competition. I have deliberately split my time focusing on different segments of the event, such as sports and talent, but my focal point is the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ portion, in which each delegate takes on advocacy or a project in their home country and presents what they have accomplished during the pageant week.”


Can you tell us more about your advocacy and the outcomes you hope to accomplish? 

“’Making Sense Malaysia; came into existence to advocate for the autistic community in pursuit of improving and celebrating their lives. My team and I have worked tirelessly from day one to lift the stigma and lobby for policies that would protect and assist the community. We are currently working on raising RM50,000 to establish a scholarship programme for autistic children and teenagers.”



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A post shared by Wenanita Angang (@wenanitaangang)


Which beauty queens have been your style inspirations or role models, and why?

“I like to think of myself as a ‘melting pot’ of all the iconic beauty queens who have come before me or who surround me, but lately, one figure I’ve been keeping an eye on or reading about is our reigning Miss World—Karolina Bielawska. In my eyes, she is one of the titleholders that has beauty with a brain and heart of gold.”


Beyond the crown, what is the one thing that most people don’t know about Wenanita? 

“I am someone who seeks to improve holistically by embracing positive change and cultivating gratitude. I have been open about my journey to become more self-aware and address my shortcomings in the hopes of inspiring others and providing a safe space for them to do the same, hence why my motto is to be relatable, realistic and relevant.”



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A post shared by Wenanita Angang (@wenanitaangang)


With the Kaamatan festival just around the corner, can you tell us what are your go-to outfits for the celebration?

“It would have to be the intricate traditional costumes. Just this month, I’ve attended several events dressed in the traditional attire of my father and mother’s tribes—Dusun Tatana and Murut. This is how I can learn and embrace the diversity of other tribes and cultures.”


Are there any tips you would like to share on how to look stylish for the Kaamatan festival?

“Invest in quality rather than quantity. There are plenty of traditional Sabahan accessories available, but you just need a handful of nice ones to add a unique touch to your outfit.”



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A post shared by Wenanita Angang (@wenanitaangang)


What advice do you have for those who want to enter a beauty pageant?

“Bring an open mind and heart to the competition. If I had to pick one lesson from my seven-year journey in pageantry, it would be to always give your all, and the desire to win should be clear from the start and for the right reasons. Whether you win or not, you have a platform to elevate yourself and the community.”


What are your hopes for the future of the beauty pageant industry in Malaysia?

“Seeing how beauty standards in general and beauty pageants, in particular, have undergone a sea change over the years, I hope to see a more inclusive industry that welcomes all kinds of Malaysian women.”




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