If you ask Rakhima Ganieva, she would say she is the rightful holder of the title of Miss Uzbekistan. There is only one problem: Uzbek officials say they have no idea who she is.
According to the Telegraph in the U.K., Uzbekistan officials say there has been no pageant held to select a Miss Uzbekistan, ever. But Ganieva’s biography on the organization’s site paints a totally different, but equally confusing picture.
In her oral biography in her introductory video, Ganieva says she is a student at the “University of International Diplomacy and Economy.” In her written biography, however, she says she is a graduate of the “Tashkent Professional College of Tourism.” In keeping with the pageant’s spirit, though, she concludes her video with the proclamation, “I really want to win.”
Ganieva continues to go through the motions of being a rightfully crowned beauty queen. She has even posted photographs of herself with fellow pageant contestants on Facebook as they prepare for the Miss World final competition on Sept. 28.
But officials at the Uzbek Culture and Sports Ministry and the National Committee on Women continue to claim the woman is a phony. Adding to the bizarre story, the university she says she attends has no records of her or knows who she is, the Daily Mail reported.
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“Rakhima Ganieva never passed through any special selection process in Uzbekistan,” said Zhavlon Komolov, a representative of the Tashkent-based Pro Models modeling agency, although he did say Ganieva trained at the agency for a short time as a 15-year-old. “If there had been a process to choose a young lady for this competition, I can assure you that a much more beautiful model would have been chosen. I’m sorry that Ganieva is choosing to build a career on lies,” Komolov said.
Let’s just hope this mystery is solved before the Miss World final. It would make for some serious pageant-night drama if the unofficial Miss Uzbekistan happened to snag the official title of Miss World.
You can watch Ganieva’s intro video for the Miss World pageant below: