The organisers of the Miss Bodylicious Zimbabwe, the beauty pageant that celebrates and recognises curvy African women, have this year added tertiary qualification as a must for contestants.
The pageant, the organisers said, is about celebrating beautiful curvaceous, middleweight models with tertiary qualifications such as a degree.
Pageant coordinator, Mavis Koslek said aspiring contestants must bring their A game in order to be considered at the Bulawayo auditions being held today at the Rainbow Hotel.
Koslek is no stranger to the modelling industry as she has been organising Miss Gweru and grooming models for the Miss Zimbabwe pageant.
“It’s not about large numbers or the expectations of oversubscribed auditions but attracting the right middleweight models who meet our requirements and will add value to the pageant,” she said.
Koslek said Miss Bodylicious Zimbabwe, a brainchild of Kwekwe’s King Solomon’s Hotel proprietor, Solomon Matsa, was unique in that it’s an African concept.
“It’s not for the typical slim and tall models as envisaged by the majority of modelling competitions.
“For Miss Bodylicious Zimbabwe, we expect only middleweight, confident, beautiful and intelligent models who are positive that they have what it takes to make into the finals.
“We are moving away from the foreign perception of modelling to a more African concept that embraces middleweight women that are proud of their bodies,” she said.
Drawing lessons from the now defunct Miss Malaika pageant that also celebrated full figured African women, the Miss Bodylicious Zimbabwe competition seeks to have a longer shelf life on the local modelling calendar.
Zimbabweans will remember the Miss Malaika pageant won by Brita Masalethulini, the vivacious farm girl, in 2001 in South Africa before it disappeared from television screens in 2010. At the time Masalethulini mesmerised the whole of Africa on the ramp.
Going national after two years of restricting Miss Bodylicious Zimbabwe to the Midlands province, comes with its own set of challenges, Koslek said.
“There’s obviously the issue of lack funding which all modelling pageants are going through but we’re trying not to allow that to dampen our spirits in the quest for a well-organised and successful pageant,” she said.
Aspiring contestants attending auditions today must be between the age of 18 to 28, not married, have no visible piercings except on their ears and should be Zimbabwean citizens. No height restrictions are enforced.
After the conclusion of auditions in other provinces, the finals will be held on September 7 at King Solomon’s Hotel with 23 contestants expected to take to the ramp. — @RaymondJaravaza