Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
MISS Tourism Zimbabwe finalists checked into Montclair Hotel in Nyanga last weekend for boot camp ahead of the national finals this Saturday.
Ever since Friday, the models who were sashed on Saturday, have been touring various tourist sites around the country to have an appreciation of their country.
This year’s pageant taking place at Montclair is running under the theme “Zimbabwe at Work” with 19 models, Natasha Carol Gora, Auylnda Mudzingwa, Chipo Mandizvidza (Bulawayo), Charlyn Muleya, Roynah Kassi (Matabeleland South), Monalisa Tafirenyika, Praise Masamba (Matabeleland North), Hillary Mandibaya, Nicole Mandimutsa, Gamuchirai Munyoro (Harare), Maurin Gondwe (Mashonaland Central), Wendy Maturi (Mashonaland East), Samantha Makufa, Pauline Marere (Mashonaland West), Nicole Musiyarira, Rutendo Mafuratidze (Manicaland), Rutendo Taruwinga, Grace Karimupfumbi (Masvingo), Maria Makewe and Michelle Mupasi (Midlands) vying for the crown.
MTZ licence holder, Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda, said the beauties have so far been involved in religious tourism and tree planting among other activities.
“Religious tourism is part of the tourism aspect that we as Miss Tourism Zimbabwe focus on. The models were taken to Yadah Hotel in Harare for lunch last week and had teachings from the man of God. They were given four principles of life which they will need to apply in their lives.
“They then proceeded to Mutare for tree planting. Planting trees is important as they improve life and fulfill essential needs of mankind,” said Mpofu-Sibanda.
She said preparations for the national finale were going well with the models very excited ahead of the big day.
“The official sashing of the girls on Saturday was a symbol that the show was indeed in motion. There is serious competition as the ladies are beautiful and all thirsty for the prestigious crown.”
To spice up things, the modelling guru said they have introduced a category in which the models will parade in formal job wear to address the patriarchal dominance in certain work sectors.
“There’ll be a category where the ladies will exhibit different types of formal jobs in our country. This theme has a special focus on young women. Its aim is to break the marginalisation and stigma for other jobs which traditionally have been termed “men” or jobs preserved for the males.
“We’d like to see more women in mining, building, surveying and of course being CEOs themselves,” said Mpofu-Sibanda.
On her parting shot, Mpofu-Sibanda said she wishes the contestants all the best and hopes the queen will work hard in improving the image of the country.
“I wish them all the best. I’m looking forward to working with the new queen whom I hope will improve the image of the country thereby increasing the number of tourists in the country by selling and marketing the tourist attractions. They are so many, it’s not just Victoria Falls”.
This will be the first time the pageant will be hosted outside Harare and Bulawayo since its inception. – @mthabisi_mthire.