Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
A THIRD year Geography student at Lupane State University was crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Matabeleland North at the provincial finals held at Invuvu Bar here on Saturday.
Monalisa Tafirenyika (22), currently on attachment at Zimasco in Kwekwe, was on cloud nine after landing the coveted crown.
Lack of corporate support for community events almost watered down the contest as a majority of sponsors that had pledged support pulled out at the 11th hour.
A transport company that had pledged to ferry models from across the province cancelled the deal at the last minute resulting in only 12 girls attending the finals.
Some local companies who had pledged accommodation, food and other things pulled out at the last minute with no clear explanation.
Glamourise, OK Mart, Rest Camp and Tatenda Safaris honoured their pledges.
MTZ Mat North co-ordinator Shauntel Nkomo was left with no choice but to host a low key event which however, turned out to be a success.
She had last minute arrangements following the pull out by sponsors and her night was almost spoilt again after authorities at the venue ordered DJs to stop music around 10PM citing noise for tourists at the adjacent Rest Camp.
The modeling contest had not yet started.
It took the intervention of some individual community leaders who were at the event, who after about 30 minutes of negotiations with owners of the venue on the phone, managed to convince the authorities to extend time to about midnight.
Music was however, kept very low for such an event.
Part of the crowd had also turned rowdy with some notably drunk ones demanding their entry fees back.
However, in the end, the queen and her two princesses as well as Miss Personality were selected.
Tafirenyika was elated after winning the crown.
“This is an honour for me. The competition was very stiff as everyone saw but I promise to represent the province. The former MTZ national was from this town which means it’s possible,” she said.
Praise Masamba and Chantel Sithole were 1st and 2nd princess respectively.
Mosi-oa-Tunya High School Lower Six pupil Yvonne Mambume (17), who was voted Miss Personality, said the contest had given her a challenge to explore life.
“I came as a first timer just to have a feel of it and I can’t believe I came out with something. This means nothing is impossible in life,” she said.
The other eight contestants were Cathrine Gumede, Fiona Ndlovu, Ivy Ncube, Nomuzomuhle Ndlovu, Muchanyara Mudhondo, Nicolette Chinembiri, Sikhethweyinkosi Siwela and Sharon Kasirori.
Nkomo said she was happy that she managed to pull through.
“The event was successful despite limited support. We would like to thank the few sponsors that came through for their support, we are truly grateful. We appeal to the corporate world and public to support these young girls to realise their dreams because they are the future in every aspect of life,” she said.– @ncubeleon