Rutendo Taonezvi was on Saturday night crowned Miss Tourism Midlands at a contest held at Cathedral Hall in Gweru.
The 24-year-old psychology student from Blantyre International University shrugged off stiff challenge from 12 other beauties to win the mandate to represent the Midlands province at the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals to be held in the capital in February.
She will be joined by Nomsa Chisora and Noncebo Mpofu, first and second princesses respectively.
The few glitches that marred her act could not stop Mpofu from impressing the judges. At first, her shoe strap loosened in the swim- wear category before her sunhat fell off in the traditional wear category.
However, she defied the hiccups to claim the second princess’ crown. Taonezvi, a former Miss Gweru, will be having another go at the national finals after gracing the beauty pageant five years ago. Soon after her crowning moment, an elated Taonezvi expressed her ambition.
“I feel honoured to have been won this crown. I hope to do well at the national finals because it has always been my dream to be the country’s tourism ambassador. I believe I would represent my country very well and market Zimbabwe on the international circuit so that it is recognised as the ultimate tourist destination,” she said.
Meanwhile, Miss Tourism Mashonaland Central, Ayeta Sesemane Banda (20) has vowed to wrest the crown from traditional favourites Harare and Bulawayo in the 2011 finals.Banda won the Miss Mashonaland Central title last week amid tight competition from other beauties including Nokhutula Desouza (17) and Mellissa Chikerema (19).
The former Miss Schools queen said next year belonged to Mashonaland Central and she had what it takes to land the crown.
“I’m happy I made it as Miss Tourism Mazowe, Miss Mashonaland Central and now looking to land the national title. Come February, I will be the new Miss Tourism Zimbabwe,” she said.
A fifth born a family of seven, Banda has a twin sister, Aetenia, who is also a model and dancer.
“Life is all about being confident and I have learnt that from my mother who managed to take care of us even after my father’s death,” she said.