The Sunday Mail’s annual hunt for the Baby of the Year, which kicked off week, has received an overwhelming response from the newspaper’s readers.
Photographs of babies for the various categories of the competition have already started pouring in while a considerable number of sponsors have come on board to be part of one of the most prestigious family competitions in the country.
Charity Gwata, The Sunday Mail brand manager, expressed satisfaction at this year’s response, saying that it was beyond the expectations of the organisers.
“The overwhelming response for this year’s competition is beyond what we expected and I would like to extend my gratitude to the readers who are supporting us in such a way,” she said.
“The competition is still going on and we are expecting more photographs to come in, upon which we will commence publishing.”
The first batch of baby photos will be published next Sunday, August 19.
She also urged parents to submit their babies’ photos before the cut-off date and to look out for the dates when the photos will be published on the entry form.
“For a long time now, we haven’t been strict on enforcing one of our rules, we are urging all parents and guardians who wish to enter this competition to send in their baby photos attached with the entry form and The Sunday Mail Leisure banner,” added Gwata.
The 10 most photogenic babies will be selected from each of the three categories and the outstanding babies will be selected for the finals which will take place before the end of this year.
The selection of the babies will be conducted by a panel of judges who will choose charming babies based on smartness, personality and character.
However, the organisers of the competition are calling upon more sponsors to be part of the competition.
“We are still making an appeal to the corporate world for sponsorship to make this event a great success. Our doors are open to receive sponsorship in cash or kind,” said Gwata.
Among the confirmed sponsors so far is Goldtech Electronics, one of the leading providers of information technology accessories, ranging from cellphones, laptops, home entertainment to cameras.
Furniture Designers is another sponsor.
The director for Furniture Desingers, Shepherd Kanyangarara, pledged his company’s support for the worthy cause.
“We pledge our continued support for the competition and each year we promise to bring in various exciting prizes for the babies,” he said.
Furniture Designers have been sponsoring the Baby of the Year competition for the past six years and Kanyangarara said since the competition has wide appeal and readership, it gives their organisation mileage to market their products.
Other sponsors include Johnson & Johnson and Sistaz Inc Kidz.
Last year’s Baby of the Year grand prize was won by Anotidaishe Kalimkama at a glamorous event held at a Harare hotel.