MODELLING guru and Zim Gossip Models Agency founder Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga has said beauty pageants, if well-organised and supported, can play a fundamental role in the marketing and promotion of Zimbabwe and its tourist magnetisms.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The former model made the remarks in an interview with NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the preliminary elimination round of aspiring models for the search of Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) queen at the Balancing Rocks in Epworth near Harare on Saturday.
“Pageants can be an essential tool that can be used to promote tourism. This pageant (Miss Tourism Zimbabwe) is not only about beauty, but to find a true tourism ambassador for Zimbabwe to promote the brand Zimbabwe that includes culture heritage and many of our tourist attractions which can help to improve the performance of domestic tourism in Zimbabwe thereby putting our country on the global map,” she said.
“It is high time we embrace and take the pageantry sector serious as part of the ongoing efforts by the government to promote tourism and our nation as a safe tourist destination. I don’t want Miss Tourism Zimbabwe to be a pageant to display beauty only and market how beautiful the ladies are, let it be about marketing our tourist destinations. I want these beautiful queens to market their places in their provinces.”
Meanwhile, 30 aspiring models drawn from four provinces — Harare Metropolitan, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West — have qualified for the final selection to represent their provinces at MTZ grand finale set for September in Bulawayo.
Mushaninga, who is also the MTZ licence holder of the four provinces, said the final selection of the aspiring contestants will be on June 23 at New Ambassador Hotel in the capital.
“It was so emotional to watch other models as they failed to make it to the second stage after today’s (Saturday) preliminary elimination round were we selected 30 girls, 15 from Harare Metropolitan province while the other three provinces provided five representatives each,” she said.
“For the final selection, we are set to choose only six finalists out of the 30 aspiring models, three representatives from Harare Metropolitan province and one from each of the other three provinces who will then go for the grand finale set for September in Bulawayo.”
From the preliminary elimination round, there is still a lot to be done to choose queens with brains, particularly for the MTZ, as many of the aspiring models in their presentations based on the topic, “If given a chance as miss tourism to host tourists in your province, where would you them and why?” proved they had less knowledge of the country and tourists attractions in their provinces.