BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
IT has been a stiff competition on the ramp for a bevy of aspiring models drawn from Harare Metropolitan, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and West provinces as they battled to secure places for the final selection at provincial finals set for September 7 at Spin Village, Rainbow Towers VIP Lounge in Harare.
The aspiring models had a hard time trying to impress a panel of judges responsible for selecting the provincial representative at the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday.
In an interview with NewsDay Life &Style on the sidelines of the event, the licence holder of the four provinces Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga, who is also Zim Gossip Models Agency founder, said Miss Tourism Zimbabwe was not only about beauty, but a true tourism ambassador to help put the country on the global map.
“The elimination process was a battle and the models challenged each other on marketing their provinces’ tourist attractions. Some came up with new interesting ideas and I am confident they can be great tourism ambassadors if they are given the resources to action their projects,” she said.
“The girls’ projects are exceptional such that we have approached Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality with the idea and ZTA’s acting chief executive Rita Likukuma was impressed and we wait to show her the top 10 selected tourism projects that I am confident will boost the tourism industry.”
Mushaninga said the models will be in boot camp for three days from September 5 ahead of the provincial finals, to be held under the theme “Empowering the Girl Child through Tourism”.
She said guests at the pageant finals will be entertained by afro jazz songstress Diana “MaNgwenya” Samkange alongside Baka Ngwasuma and Ishan, among other surprise performers.
Meanwhile, the reigning queen Tafadzwa Primrose Jaricha, is set to leave for the Miss World Tourism slated for December after she missed last year’s finals as organisers felt she was not yet ready for the grand stage.
Tourism has been incorporated into the pageantry in order to promote the girl child and the country’s tourism industry.