Vanessa Sibanda, Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2008 and Miss Top Model of the World 2011 Second Princess, is expected to grace the Miss Southern Africa International (Sai) finals which will be held in Ndola, Zambia on July 2.
She will assist in the crowning ceremony of the pageant in which Zimbabwe will be represented by Evelyn Gondo, a product of the ZimGossip modelling agency.
Sibanda, popularly known as “Queen Vanessa”, in entertainment circles will also perform her hit track, Hey Lover at the same function.
Hilda Mulenga, Miss Sai director, told NewsDay the pageant would be held during the 42nd Zambia International Trade Fair and models from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom were expected to catwalk the ramp.
Mulenga said the aim of the event was to promote friendship.
“The main aim of the modelling contest is to promote friendship, culture and tourism through beauty within the region,” she said.
Initially reigning Miss Zimbabwe (Malaika Mushandu) who was crowned Miss Sai Zimbabwe and Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (Rumbidzayi Mudzengerere), who was crowned Miss Sai Zimbabwe First Princess last year, were both meant to represent the country at the finals but they could not do so due to national commitments.
Mercy Mushaninga, ZimGossip director and Miss Sai Zimbabwe representative, said the two queens had since been replaced by Gondo who is Miss Sai Zimbabwe Second Princess and Miss Personality.
“We had to send in Evelyn to represent the country as both Malaika and Rumbi could not make it as they are contesting for Miss World which is a bigger event. They therefore can’t compete at a lower pageant,” said Mushaninga.
Gondo said she was going to do her best at the pageant.
“I am going to try by all means to bring the crown home as I know Malaika and Rumbi were going to do the same,” said Gondo. She will leave for Zambia on June 27.
Last year, Zambian beauty Fernanda Kanyendo was crowned Miss Southern Africa International at an event which took place in London.
Yasmin Elias from Malawi was First Princess and Julia Dijeng from Bostwana was Second Princess.