Sephora Ikalaba, the winner of the 2017 Miss Helsinki beauty pageant. PHOTO | COURTESYSephora Ikalaba, the winner of the 2017 Miss Helsinki beauty pageant. PHOTO | COURTESY
By NAIROBI NEWS REPORTER and AGENCIES

The declaration of a black woman the winner of the 2017 Miss Helsinki Pageant has sparked an uproar in Finland.

Sephora Ikalaba, 19, whose parents migrated to Finland before she was born, was named the winner of the beauty pageant on Sunday.

According to media reports, Sephora’s victory has been met with harsh criticism with some people, who expressed their views on social media, saying she is not attractive enough.

There was a similar reaction in 2015 when 20-year-old Ariana Miyamoto – born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father – was crowned Miss Universe Japan.

The fact that Miyamoto is a biracial did not sit well with some residents of the city, compelling her to spend her first media appearance after winning her title apologizing for her identity.