HARARE – Miss Carnival has rebranded to Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and is appealing to the nation for monetary contributions to fund the pageant.
Dates for the pageant have not been set yet, but the patron, Barbara Mzembi, wife to Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said they expect it to be held in November.
She appealed for assistance during the official launch cocktail held at a local hotel on Tuesday night in Harare.
“My team and I have been working on this project extensively. I remember one day when one of my domestic workers came to me and said, ‘how do I help you make this project come through? If I have a dollar is it enough to help kick-start the project?’ I slept on it and figured that it was a good idea.
“Imagine if the nation contributes a dollar each towards the project how much would that be? People can send even a dollar or more through their mobile service providers to help boost Miss Tourism Zimbabwe.
“We would not want to have a pageant that only runs for one year and fail to happen the following year due to lack of funding,” Mzembi said.
She added that they were not conforming to the world beauty standards.
“This is a project for the nation, it is not my project, but it’s for the girl child. We are not looking for a girl who is 1,75 metres tall, or weighs 50kg; we are looking for an intelligent and articulate girl who will be able to represent our country on a global platform.
“It is open to all Zimbabweans despite race or social standing. What we only require is that the girl must have at least “A” Levels and a diploma or university degree is most welcome. We will use schools and universities as scouting grounds,” she said.
The girl should be between 17-24 years old and should have never been married.
Mzembi said she even engaged other players in the modelling industry for pointers to do the right thing.
“Over the past few years, there have been unflattering stories about girls in the industry, especially to do with nudity. I sat down with modelling agencies and other stakeholders and asked for their input to help put this thing together.
“We will be working with them in recruiting girls; we want to have a scandal-free pageant with well-groomed ladies. Look at former Miss Carnival Gamuchirai Kujeke who is now married. Nothing scandalous came from her reign; I took her under my wing and groomed her. I want the same to happen for the new ladies,” she said.
Miss Tourism was initially run by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) but they engaged Mzembi in 2014.
“We invited Mzembi in 2014 to help run things . . . she was the right candidate. We trust that she will do a good job and help market brand Zimbabwe to the world,” said ZTA CEO Karikoga Kaseke.