HARARE – Reigning Miss Carnival Dananai Chipunza will represent Zimbabwe at the Miss Tourism International World Pageant that begins in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.
The lively Chipunza, who won the inaugural Miss Carnival in May this year, said she had been working hard on her fitness and grooming in preparation for the event where she will battle it out with 60 other contestants from around the world for the crown.
“I am well-prepared physically and mentally,” she told the Daily News.
“As an ambassador my role is to market the country to the best of my ability. I will represent and sell destination Zimbabwe very well and I hope I will have the full support from people at home.”
The Miss Tourism International is a 24-day event which begins with the delegates’ arrival in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow and ends on January 2 when the contestants depart for their homeland.
This year’s edition of the Miss Tourism International World Pageant is the biggest in the pageant’s nine-year history.
Chipunza is confident that her interaction with the various parts of the world will expose her to diverse experiences.
“The pageant for me will be a learning experience,” she said.
“As much as it is a competition, it is also a platform to learn about different cultures from other contestants who will be the ambassadors of their country,” said Chipunza.
The Malaysian government has lined up many exciting promotional activities and visits for the contestants prior to the World Final to be held on December 31, 2014.
Since its inauguration in 1994, this prestigious pageant had seen the participation of more than 500 Miss Tourism delegates from around the world.
Chipunza will leave Zimbabwe tomorrow accompanied by some officials from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority who will provide her with much-needed support.
“I am grateful for the support I have received from the nation since my crowning (as Miss Carnival). I feed on the positive remarks I get from my friends out there. The country’s support is needed as I embark on my journey to fight for the global crown,” she said.
“Thank you for believing in me and I promise to do my ultimate best come the final show on December 31.”
Prior to the pageant’s New Year’s Eve finale, the Miss Tourism International delegates will engage in many promotional programmes including official visits to selected states to promote Visit Malaysia 2014.
Other interesting activities that have been lined up include car parades, tree planting, batik chanting, charity programmes and visits to popular tourist spots.
More than 1 000 people will attend the 2013 Miss Tourism International World Final including VIPs, celebrities and media from local and international.
The top five winners of Miss Tourism International 2013 will receive cash prizes, crowns, trophies and vouchers.
Asia Metropolitan University is also offering scholarships worth slightly over $150 000 to the winners.