Miss Diamond finals on Saturday

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The inaugural Miss Diamond finals will be held today at Royal National Hotel in London, UK, where 13 models will square for the crown.

Event founder Glorianne Francis said: “Miss Zim Diamond is not your regular pageant; contestants will be judged on their entrepreneurial acumen, commitment to charitable causes, their portrayal of the modern Zimbabwean woman and representation of the beauty of Zimbabwe as a country.

“We aim to see the girls make a mark in their communities here in the UK through firm business ventures and inspire their compatriots at home in Zimbabwe and the Diaspora at large,” she added.

The winning contestant of the Miss Zim Diamond 2011 stands to leave the catwalk with a career in the hospitality industry, as the first prize of the competitions includes a package to a job that pays £30 0000.

The winner will also be given the bye to represent the UK region in the Miss Zimbabwe contest to be held in Harare next year.

This comes after Miss Zim Diamond pageant was given the green light to take over the slot from the now-defunct Miss Zimbabwe-UK.

Mobile phone network giant, Econet are the pageant’s headline corporate sponsor together with Global Hospitality Services.

Expected to grace the evening of beauty and glamour will be a “who’s who” line-up of Zimbabwean celebrities and socialites with confirmed attendance of Olympic athlete Brian Dzingai, former British and Commonwealth heavyweight boxing champion Derek Chisora and Britain’s Got Talent competitor Donna Africa.

Also expected to attend will be MOBO-award winning UK hip-hop star Akala, who is due to tour Zimbabwe next month.

Indie rock diva and Miss Zim Diamond ambassador, Shingai Shoniwa of the chart-topping Noisettes band, said: “I am proud of all our girls and I would like to see them shining like the diamonds they represent.

“More than being the beauties they are in looks, this pageant will call on them to unearth the shining gems inside their hearts and minds.

“I can only wish them well,” she added.

Entertainment on the evening will be presented by Afro-pop sensations BKay and Kazz, neosoul singer Zuwa, as well as Jusa Dementor and R& B siren Cynthia Mare.