AFTER three previous unsuccessful participations at the Miss Bulawayo contest, 22-year-old Melissa Chaka was finally crowned Miss Bulawayo at a colourful ceremony held at the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel on Saturday evening.
Report by Melissa Mpofu
Chaka shrugged off competition from 21 other models who were vying for the same title.
She was outstanding on the ramp because of her catwalk and alluring personality.
She was also the crowd’s favourite because of her beauty with brains, something which many models lack.
A visibly shocked Chaka told NewsDay she was happy to have been crowned Miss Bulawayo.
“This is my third time contesting for Miss Bulawayo after contesting in 2010 and 2011. I have never won any pageant and I’m so glad to have clinched this one, certainly it’s a dream come true for me,” she said.
She added that she would start preparing for the Miss Zimbabwe finals, a crown she is now eyeing.
Chaka is not a new name in pageantry as she has contested at so many pageants including Carnival Queen Zimbabwe, Miss Southern Africa Zimbabwe, and Miss Global International, but has always failed to make it to the top.
Bongani Dhlakama, reigning Miss Zimbabwe, handed over her Miss Bulawayo crown to Chaka.
Michelle Thembo (22) was crowned first princess, while Bokani Nleya (23) was second princess.
Clementina Ali was crowned Miss Personality, a title which is voted for by the participating models.
The pageant organised by modelling guru, Sarah Mpofu and Fingers Academy was well arranged showing Mpofu’s maturity in the modelling industry.
The event, which was held under the theme Vinter Wintage, saw girls uniquely parading in vintage wear with two motorbikes raving for them as they strutted their stuff on the ramp. The queen was also crowned in vintage style.
Quality entertainment was provided by MC Babongile Sikhonjwa, who also performed a comedy act.
Hip-hop group Alchemy, DJ Kananjo, Divas and Harsh Touch dance groups also performed at the event.
Speaking at the event, Mpofu said the success of the Miss Bulawayo pageant was because of the support she received from the public each year.
She added that she was impressed by the models performance.
“The girls performed exceptionally well on the ramp. I’m sure like always, there will be strong competition at the Miss Zimbabwe finale and we hope to retain the Miss Zimbabwe title this year,” she said.
Judges mainly comprised former beauty queens, including Sibusisiwe Dube, Lorraine Maphala, Nokuthaba Manungo and Happiness Tshuma.
Chaka and Tembo have automatically been entered into this year’s Miss Zimbabwe beauty pageant which will be held on July 27 in Harare.
Depending on the organisers’ criteria, Nleya could also contest at the national finale if the organisers decide to take three contestants from Bulawayo like they have done over the past years.
In the past decade, Bulawayo has produced five national queens namely Oslie Muringai-Matsikenyeri (Miss Zimbabwe 2004), Maphala (Miss Zimbabwe 2006), Caroline Marufu (2007), Samantha Tshuma (Miss Zimbabwe 2011) and the reigning queen Dhlakama.