(eTN) – UNITED KINGDOM-based Cynthia Muvirimi was on Saturday night crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2007 at the national finals held in the Rainbow Towers’ main auditorium.
Muvirimi made history by becoming the first model from the Diaspora to clinch the title since its inception in 2005.
She pocketed a whopping $15 billion in cash, vouchers worth $50 billion and a fuel voucher for 1 000 litres.
Despite being the last in the line-up of 30 models, Muvirimi kept her composure to succeed outgoing queen Caroline Marufu as Zimbabwe’s tourism ambassador.
It was no surprise that the packed auditorium screamed out her name before the master of ceremonies — Tich Matambanadzo — announced her as the winner.
Avril Mhembere from Mutare and Bulawayo’s Sibusisiwe Dube were adjudged the first and second princesses respectively.
Mhembere went home $7 billion richer, in addition to vouchers worth $20 billion and 500 litres of fuel, while Dube walked away with $5 billion, vouchers worth $10 billion and 300 litres of fuel.
Mhembere and Dube scored another double each when they were voted Miss Tourism Zimbabwe representatives for their provinces.
For this, they were awarded a further $1,5 billion and vouchers worth $3 billion.
Another Bulawayo girl, Francisca Munyaka, won the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe People’s Choice title while Mutare’s Karen Chitsiko is this year’s Miss Personality.
Munyaka and Chitsiko got $3 billion in cash, $5 billion worth of vouchers and 200 litres of fuel each.
Dube will take part in the Miss Tourism World contest as Miss Tourism Victoria Falls.
Munyaka, on the other hand, will be responsible for promoting the country’s tourism resorts to the domestic and international market.
Other provincial winners included Charity Muza (Mashonaland East), Nyarai Yotamu (Mashonaland West), Lisa Morgan (Midlands), Theresa Ziki (Masvingo) and Michelle Saudan (Harare).
Each of the provincial winners went home $1,5 billion richer in addition to $3 billion worth of vouchers.
The event, organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, started in earnest around 9pm and was broadcast live on Zimbabwe Television.
Among dignitaries who graced the glitzy occasion were the Minister of Information and Publicity, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu; Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Cde Abigail Damasane; ZTA chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke and Miss Zimbabwe Trust patron Mrs Kiki Divaris.
Muvirimi will represent Zimbabwe in the 2008 Miss World beauty pageant while Mhembere will carry the country’s flag in the Miss Tourism World finals.