The Sunday Mail
Prince Mushawevato —
Magic mirror, on the wall — who is the fairest one of all?
This question from a Brothers Grimm fairytale is one that will be answered on Friday at the Harare International Conference Centre when the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals are held and much is expected of organisers of the inaugural edition of the re-branded pageant.
Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) came into being following the re-branding of Miss Carnival early this year. Promises of “real empowerment” and “a flawless event” have been spiritedly thrown around by sponsors and organisers in the lead-up to the finals.
Now test time has come for both the models and the people behind the pageant. Models have for long been taken for a ride after being promised Heaven on Earth by pageant organisers. Either they do not get their prizes on time or in extreme cases fail to get them at all.
Thus the million dollar question is: will MTZ organisers live up to their promises?
“Focus should not only be on performing artistes at the final. People need to develop love for the pageant not only for its glitz but the value that is going to come from it.
“We have schemes meant for the empowerment of models and the girl child around the country that are ready to be rolled out. As we speak most of the deals have been concluded while others will be done by the time we get to the finale,” said MTZ patron Barbara Mzembi last week.
For those not already in the know, MTZ organisers and their sponsors say they have brokered a deal that will see any of the willing 18 finalists sign brand ambassadorial deals with selected top South African companies.
Also, working with the Zimbabwe Agriculture Society, they are set to receive three tractors to be used for farming programmes for empowerment purposes.
The society will further facilitate involvement of models in agriculture schemes. Proceeds from ticket sales, donations and a fundraising dinner dubbed The Business Ball, to be held on the eve of the finale at Rainbow Towers, will cover school and exam fees and sanitary wear for underprivileged girls. The Business Ball is expected to raise at least US$50 000.
Will all these goodies be delivered? Yes, is the response from MTZ spokesperson Alson Darikayi.
“We do not wish to make this a one-off thing. Our sponsor is taking care of the event, including the performing artistes, hence we are going to use every dollar we get, be it from donations, pledges or sales. Also to purchase equipment/machinery to use in manufacturing and cleaning reusable sanitary pads. Our objective is to create a lasting solution in the sanitary pads supply as well as education,” says Darikayi.
MTZ organisers appear to be on course. Last week, a promised four-year-scholarship for one of pageant participant was officially unveiled in the capital.
The all expenses paid scholarship is offered by Study in China Administration System, which operates in 60 countries, according to Sicas Zimbabwe business development director Joy Khosa.
The pageant queen will get a cash prize on her crowning night, and this will be in addition to an executive car and an all expenses tourism induction course in the United States.
The first princess will be Miss Agro Tourism and will work closely with the Zimbabwe Agriculture Society. She will also get an off-road vehicle. The second princess will be Miss City Tourism and will be active in Zimbabwe’s urban areas, advocating for clean water, environmental care and infrastructure improvements.
MTZ organisers have pledged to deliver a flawless finale on November 25. According to the organisers the event will be punctuated by grand displays such as indoor fireworks. Entertainment at the glamorous fundraising dinner will be will be provided by music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and Dudu Manhenga.
South African stars Dr Malinga of “Via Orlando” fame and Busiswa, together with local acts like Suluman Chimbetu, Shinsoman, Selmor Mtukudzi and Ammara Brown will also be part of the show.
The Princess of Monaco and other royalty, and tourism ministers will join First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, who is the guest of honour. Up and coming firm Zaron Cosmetics has the task of overseeing models’ beauty treatment.
The company recently launched a wide range of beauty products at Edgars Stores in Harare with the help of the Zimpapers-owned highly popular radio station, Star FM.
Zaron began operations in Zimbabwe recently but has already stamped its authority on the cosmetics industry, getting the endorsement of MTZ organisers to care for the models. The cosmetics company has a presence in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.