BY DEMETRIA MANYONGA
ORGANISERS of the Miss Zim Schools said the pageant was designed to support the girl child and offer mentorship, while marketing the country as a brand.
A representative of the organisers, Zinzile Mantiziba, yesterday said they were also focusing on the thorny issue of child marriages through empowering the girl child.
“The pageant is there to help the girl child fight early child marriages, as it empowers the girl child to know her rights, help her build confidence in herself as well as giving health advice and tips,” she said.
“We are still focussing on girls; not to say that we have forgotten about the boy child. We need to teach our girls on how to be responsible, including being independent in our fight against early child marriages.”
Tatenda Chiringa, who mentors the models, said they were hoping that as they continued to run the pageant, mindsets and practices around child marriages would shift.
“There are no visible changes when it comes to early child marriages. This pageant has been running for two years now and what I can say is that the changes are little, but hopefully, in three years’ time, we will be able to see the change. Maybe it is because of the economic challenges the country is facing.
“I am also happy that the models who are fighting and representing us out there are also teaching fellow girls on the effects of early child marriages,” Chiringa said.
“The organisation looks at why cases of early child marriages are on the rise and gives solutions.”
The pageant’s grand finale will be held in Harare on June 1.
This year’s edition has been organised by Simudziranayi Community Organisation, which was established in 2012 and works with the girl child, including the less-privileged in society.