Miss Tourism gets Govt back­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Show­biz Cor­re­spon­dent

NEWLY ap­pointed Min­is­ter of Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try Edgar Mb­wem­bwe hit the ground run­ning yes­ter­day, as­sert­ing gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to sup­port the host­ing of the Miss Tourism Zim­babwe (MTZ) beauty pageant this year.

Speak­ing at an MTZ press briefing in Harare yes­ter­day, the min­is­ter who took over from Wal­ter Mzembi (now For­eign Af­fairs min­is­ter) after Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe reshuf­fled the Cab­i­net on Mon­day said gov­ern­ment would keep sup­port­ing the pageant as it is a way of boost­ing the coun­try’s tourism.

MTZ will be held on De­cem­ber 9 at the Harare In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence Cen­tre.

“I want to as­sure you that gov­ern­ment fully sup­ports Miss Tourism and our ex­pec­ta­tion is that the event will con­tinue to reg­is­ter great suc­cess notwith­stand­ing the chal­lenges of fund­ing that you ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Pageants are pop­u­lar world over for boost­ing tourism as they cre­ate a good image of the coun­try,” said Min­is­ter Mb­wem­bwe.

In at­ten­dance was his deputy Anas­ta­sia Ndlovu, MTZ pa­tron Bar­bara Mzembi, Harare Met­ro­pol­i­tan Min­is­ter Miriam Chikukwa and out­go­ing Miss Tourism Ash­ley Mor­gan.

Min­is­ter Mb­wem­bwe urged the pri­vate sec­tor to sup­port the pageant in or­der to make it a suc­cess.

“We note that there’s lim­ited in­vest­ment in beauty pageants in Zim­babwe and I there­fore urge the pri­vate sec­tor and cor­po­rates to tango with you (MTZ) to sup­port the event fi­nan­cially and ma­te­ri­ally.

“There’s so much value you (cor­po­rates and busi­ness) can de­rive from as­so­ci­at­ing your­self with Miss Tourism Zim­babwe,” he said.

Dur­ing the briefing, the MTZ Trust an­nounced through their new spokesper­son Spencer Manyembe that prepa­ra­tions for this year’s edi­tion were in full swing.

“Miss Tourism Zim­babwe 2016 was a re­sound­ing suc­cess, thanks to the sup­port of var­i­ous stake­hold­ers. We’re pleased to an­nounce that Miss Tourism 2017 prepa­ra­tions are in mo­tion and are flow­ing smoothly,” said Manyembe.

As part of the prepa­ra­tions, national au­di­tions will be held as from to­mor­row to Sun­day in Harare at the Andy Miller Hall from 8AM to 6PM.

The MTZ re­ceived over 200 ap­pli­cants from as­pir­ing mod­els na­tion­wide. From the 200, a few will be short­listed for an­other round of cast­ing this week­end.

Like last year, the min­i­mum re­quire­ment will be an ‘A’ Level cer­tifi­cate, with cer­tifi­cates of diplo­mas or de­grees be­ing an added ad­van­tage.

On Novem­ber 4, the top 15 from the national au­di­tions will be un­veiled. They will be ex­pected to at­tend boot camp from Novem­ber 25 in preparation for the fi­nale on De­cem­ber 9.

Manyembe said last year’s main spon­sor of the pageant, Big Time Strate­gic Group will not be spon­sor­ing the event this year, but an­other spon­sor who is be­ing kept un­der wraps has come on board.

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