The Sunday Mail
If the winner to Saturday’s Miss Zimbabwe 2014 pageantry goes on to contest and win the Miss World crown, she will join Nigerian Agbani Darego who was the first black African to win the Miss World title in 2001.But given the racism and favouritism controversies that usually mar the Miss World title, it might be a consolation if our girl finishes in the top 10 at least.
Angeline Musasiwa was the last local girl to be highly placed in the Miss World rankings, finishing a commendable fourth in 1994.
Though Darego is the first black African to have won the title, she was not the first African to win, Egypt won in 1954 and South Africa won twice in 1958 and 1974.
Jamaica has also won the Miss World title on three occasions, first in 1963 then in 1976 and lastly in 1993.
With six wins, Venezuela has won the world title the most, with its most recent win coming in 2011, closely followed by India which has won five times. The last win for India was in 2000.
The Miss World pageant is the oldest surviving major international beauty pageant. It was founded in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley’s wife, Julia Morley, co-chairs the pageant. Alongside its rivals Miss Universe and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the most publicised beauty contests in the world.
The winner spends a year travelling to represent the Miss World Organisation and its various causes. The current Miss World is Megan Young of the Philippines who was crowned on September 28, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. Traditionally, Miss World lives in London during her reign.
Africa has hosted the Miss World pageant thrice, once in Sun City in 2001 and two years in a row in Johannesburg (2008 and 2009).
Besides being head-quartered and mostly held in London, the last time a British woman was crowned the most beautiful girl in the world was in 1974. She did not finish her reign and South Africa moved in to complete the year.