Tourism, Environment and Hospitality Industry minister Edgar Mbwembwe has hailed Miss Tourism Trust (MTZ), the organisers of Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, for organising a pageant, which he said has managed to eradicate fallacies of sexism and sexualisation against the girl child.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Mbwembwe was the guest of honour at the Masquerade Ball Fundraising dinner for the girl child’s community projects held under the theme The Jacaranda Season of Giving at Rainbow Hotel in Harare on Saturday.
The event, a precursor to the pageant’s grand finale set for December 9 at Harare International Conference Centre, was also used to unveil the 20 beauty finalists vying for the coveted crown to replace reigning queen Ashley Morgan.
“Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageant has given the girl child a platform to recognise her beauty, strength, knowledge and skill on the public arena, an opportunity that has also equipped participants with skills in planning and time management to balance school, social life and extracurricular activities,” he said.
“The pageant managed to eradicate fallacies such as sexism and sexualisation towards the girl child as a platform to bring awareness on problems such as child marriages, rape and prostitution.”
Mbwembwe said the pageant was promoting components of brand Zimbabwe such as people, culture heritage, tourism and exports.
“Miss Tourism Zimbabwe contributes to building of a strong brand, as it brings people of different ethnicities together promoting the aspect of social cohesion, cultural diversity, gross national happiness and the Know Your Zimbabwe and Know Your Country campaign initiated by President Robert Mugabe in 2014 as a strategy to improve the performance of domestic tourism in Zimbabwe,” he said.
MTZ patron, Barbara Mzembi told guests that they were committed to playing an important role in the upliftment of the girl child, setting a target of changing the lives of more 5 000 girls in three years’ time.
“We are thrilled by the number of girls we are impacting and lives that we have transformed in the short time since we started as Miss Tourism Zimbabwe,” she said.
“We all know the many challenges the girl child faces, like early marriages to escape poverty and hardships, school dropouts due to lack of fees and missing school days because of lack of sanitary among others.
“As Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, we are committed to playing a role, though it might be a small contribution to the bigger picture, in the upliftment of the girl child through sewing projects. In order to sustain these projects, we need assistance from both corporates and individuals.”
Some of the guests at the event were members of diplomatic corps, captains of industry and representatives from different companies and individuals, who were entertained by award-winning songstress Selmor Mtukudzi.
The pageant’s spokesperson, Spencer Manyemba, told NewsDay yesterday that the aspiring 20 bevy of beauties would be in boot camp from November 25 to December 10.