Dananai Chipunza (21) of Harare was on Friday crowned the country’s inaugural Carnival Queen at a colourful pageant at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
Chipunza cat-walked to the top and, in the process, outshone 18 other beauties vying for the crown.
Report by Melissa Mpofu
Thabiso Phiri (21), also from Harare, was crowned Miss Heritage Zimbabwe. Both Chipunza and Phiri were odds-on favourites given their confidence, eloquence and intelligence and the excitement they stirred in people whenever they were on stage.
The models designed the bulk of the carnival outfits themselves and the event brought life and colour to the country’s pageantry which was now on its downfall.
Event organisers, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), managed to source over 30 sponsors for the event, a move which saw the event running smoothly and the girls receiving meaningful prizes.
The pageant, which ended in the early hours of Saturday, attracted people from all walks of life including ministers, army generals, and former Miss Zimbabwe models. As per ZTA style, the queen was honoured by the President’s guard of honour to give her a queen status and the national anthem was sung after she was crowned.
Chipunza’s prizes include a Mercedes Benz sponsored by Oketex Investments, $20 000 prize money from ZTA, make-up kits, mobile phones from Goldtech and G-Tel, hotel vouchers and a return trip to Brazil, among many other prizes. Phiri’s prizes include
$10 000, return trips to a destination of her choice courtesy of Air Namibia and hotel vouchers.
The prize-giving ceremony will be held this week.
Chipunza said she was ready to carry out her activities as Carnival Queen. Her activities will include leading the main carnival procession on Saturday. The Zimbabwe International Carnival will kick off tomorrow and will end on May 26.
Miss Heritage World (MHW) president Venancius Rukero, who attended the pageant, said he was impressed by the quality of models he saw on the ramp. He added that he was looking forward to the MHW final. Phiri will represent the country at the MHW to be held in Victoria Falls in August.
Quality entertainment was provided by Cindy Munyazi, Magesh dance group, Xtra Large, Winky D, Good Child and Sulumani Chimbetu and the Dendera Kings.The artists took turns to perform their Carnival songs which they composed for the inaugural Zimbabwe Carnival.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe International Carnival will officially kick off tomorrow with the Carnival bira at the Book Cafe. Mbira Dzenharira are expected to be the headline act at the event.