Miss Sierra Leone Arrived Late Due To Visa Troubles, Was Disqualified From Miss Universe Competition - The Daily Sentry

Miss Sierra Leone Arrived Late Due To Visa Troubles, Was Disqualified From Miss Universe Competition

Marie Esther Bangura, photo compiled from Instagram and E! News
While everyone is celebrating the win of Catriona Gray in the recently concluded Miss Universe competition, bringing home the 4th crown to the Philippines, little did we know that there was a candidate who was disqualified from competing.

Miss Sierra Leone

Marie Esther Bangura, from Sierra Leone may have been disqualified from the Miss Universe competition, but she definitely won the hearts of the people of Thailand. Her struggle to attend and compete in the MU has become a viral topic in social media.

Marie Esther Bangura, photo from NotiTotal
She has to travel for two weeks from her war torn nation of Sierra Leone, passing through Ghana, to apply for a visa at Royal Thai Embassy in Nigeria. From there she had to travel by plane from Ethiopia to Bangkok. She arrived in Thailand in December 8, almost a week behind schedule.


The organizers of Miss Universe follow a strict schedule. They require the beauty contestants to be at Bangkok not later than December 2, so when Miss Sierra Leone was not present on that day, they had no choice but to disqualify her.

Photo from Christian Gray Facebook account
Photo from Christian Gray Facebook account
Despite her disqualification, the organizers were kind enough to allow her to join many of the events. Apart from the organizers, the Thai fans of the competition were inspired of her determination to compete despite her country’s troubles, and they welcomed her with open arms.


Some fans accompanied her in visiting Bangkok landmarks, and she felt the genuine love from the Thai people.

"I always wanted to represent my country and that's why I tried so hard to be here. Since I'm not competing, I still feel good because I got to meet people and learn new things. I know everything you go through you learn a lesson, and I've learned a lesson. I've met different people. I feel so much loved and excited." 

Miss Sierra Leone was also allowed to compete for next year’s Miss Universe competition.

Source: Christian Gray