(eTN) – Twenty-Eight Miss Tourism Zimbabwe contestants who won provincial finals went into camp in Harare on Monday to prepare for the national finals to be held on December 15 at the Harare International Conference Centre.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Andrew Langa and Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Abigail Damasane welcomed the contestants at a Harare hotel.
The contestants are Nyarai Yotamu, Trish Nyirenda (Mash West), Pregrina Musonza, Gayly Mhonderwa, Theresa Ziki (Masvingo), Bulawayo’s Privilege Dube, Sibusisiwe Dube, Thulisile Sibanda and Prudence Mpofu. From the UK is Sindiso Muhlwa while Angeline Hofa, Natalie Kadzviti, Vimbai Samkange, Vanessa Sibanda, Simone Ramjee and Michelle Saudan will represent Harare.
Charity Muza, Vimbai Sithole and Phyllis Muchena will carry the Mash-East flag while Sandra Tazvivinga, Rumbidzai Mugwanda and Lisa Morgan will represent the Midlands Province. From Mash-Central are Edith Musheremwa, Nyaradzo Nyamande and Florence Masango while Karen Chitsiko will represent Manicaland. This year’s pageant will see the queen pocketing a whooping $5 billion cash prize plus vouchers valued at $10 billion while the first princess pockets $3 billion and vouchers worth $5 billion.
The second princess gets $2 billion and $3 billion worth of vouchers while regional winners will get $1 billion cash and vouchers worth $2 billion. The queen will represent the country in the Miss World pageant while the first and second princesses compete in Miss Tourism World as Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and Miss Tourism Victoria Falls. Miss Tourism Zimbabwe People’s Choice will be accorded the chance to market the country’s tourism destinations and help in developing tourism in the country. Speaking at the sashing ceremony, Kaseke assured the nation of transparency in the pageant where models, the public and the media would get to know of the adjudicators at a later stage. “It is unethical to publicise the adjudicating committee because we don’t want a situation where people would start believing that the adjudication process was influenced.
“As the models are in camp right now, there is no beauty queen and princesses – they are all equal. They are starting on equal footing,” he said. Kaseke added that they had also hired members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police for the safety of the models. Cde Langa said the pageant not only promoted tourism but also gave people a sense of pride and an assurance that Zimbabwe is endowed with warm and hospitable people.
“The human beauty has been used to complement the natural physical tourist attractions,” Langa said. He said the pageant had seen destination promotion campaigns in South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Swaziland and the United Kingdom among other countries and that a number of experts had been invited to empower the models with knowledge in areas of tourism and the country’s history. Cde Langa also urged regional licence holders to continue working hard in producing well-moulded models who should be regional representatives. Cde Damasane who was the guest speaker at the sashing ceremony urged the models to be proud of their country and take the pageant to greater heights.
“This pageant is not an opportunity to abandon norms and values but to showcase and uphold them,” Damasane said.