THE once popular Miss Summer Strides pageant organised by licence holder Sipho Mazibuko has made a comeback after a 13-year sabbatical with a bevy of over 30 models from across the country battling it out at the auditions set for Lavinia Gardens in Bulawayo on Saturday.
BY SINDISO DUBE
In an interview with NewsDay Life &Style yesterday, Mazibuko, who has been under the weather, promised a modelling revolution for the returning pageant whose grand finale will be held on December 5 at Lavinia Gardens in Bulawayo.
“I am happy to be back to do what I love doing. It has been a dark moment for me being away from what I am passionate about. I thank God I am now well and geared up to start from where I left and bring drastic change to the modelling business,” she said.
“It has been years of watching and learning from the sidelines and I am happy that I will bring the needed revolution. We are not just looking for a beautiful girl, but an educated queen who will be able to clearly articulate mental health issues.”
Mazibuko said as a result of a huge turnout, the pageant, that will feature models aged between 18 to 25 years, would be held in two phases in line with the global COVID-19 pandemic regulations.
“We wanted to host one round of auditions for the semi-finals, but due to an overwhelming response from agencies and girls from Bulawayo and other cities like Harare, Gweru and Kadoma we have more than 30 contestants that will battle for honours for a place at the grand finale,” she said.
Mazibuko said the corporate world was offering support and showing interest in the rebranded Miss Summer Strides.
“We have a number of partners on board and waiting to join us so that we make the event bigger and better from the last editions. We are also partnering with South African agencies so that we have easy access to other regions for our models who will come up tops and be the face of Miss Summer Strides and Strides Models,” she said.
“We still carry the same vision, but the relaunch is different. This time we will be pushing for local talent to enter the international market and this can be made possible through our partnership with Heads Models of South Africa.”
The last edition of Miss Summer Strides was won by Sibusisiwe Dube.