Zim’s pretty women in city pageant
A UNIQUE beauty pageant is to be held in Cape Town tonight – entry is open to Zimbabweans only.
The inaugural Miss Zimbabwe Cape Town is exclusively for members of the Zimbabwean diaspora living in the city, and aims to foster self-confidence and national pride among Zimbabweans who have had to struggle to survive in a country which has often been hostile.
The red- carpet affair is expected to attract a 300-strong audience, and was organised by local Zimbabweans Julius Shamu, Maynard Mazavare and Taona Kandemiri. It is to take place at the Belmont Square Conference Centre in Rondebosch.
The organisers said preparations began last year. They were funding the event themselves because they couldn’t find sponsors. Twenty contestants are to participate, and the winners will help with charity work at Nazareth House, a home for orphans.
At energetic rehearsals on Tuesday, participant Charlene Phiri, 23, originally from Victoria Falls, said she started modelling when she was five.
Phiri, who has been living in Cape Town for three years, said the pageant was an opportunity “to represent my country in someone else’s country”.
Despite negative perceptions about Zimbabwe, it was a “great country and there is no place better than home”, she said.
She challenged her countrymen to be proud of their identity and stop changing names in order to try to fit into South African communities.
Queen Bosha, 20, who lives in Table View, said out of the 20 competitors she was lucky to be selected as one of the two poster girls to advertise the event.
She said she left home for South Africa to find a job, as well as to realise her dream of becoming a model.
She is signed up with a modelling agency, but works in the hospitality industry to earn a living and support her family back home.
Asked if she was ready for the contest, Bosha said she was nervous, but hoped to win.
Tanya Mukarakate, 22, said she had been “waiting for this moment for all my life”. She arrived in Cape Town two months ago, but started modelling when she was in primary school.
She said this event meant a lot to her “because it has a Miss Zimbabwe title”.
She said many negative perceptions had been created about Zimbabwe, and “people wonder if there are any beautiful things or girls there”.
For her, the competition would be about showing national pride and identity.
The organisers said they aimed to organise similar diaspora events in all the major cities in South Africa in the future.
They said the success of Miss Zimbabwe Cape Town would hopefully help them to secure future sponsorship. – West Cape News