Mary Chiwenga and her team responsible for selecting the most deserving young lady to represent Zimbabwe at the Miss World pageant every year, have said they have not found anyone worthy for the task according to media reports.
The Miss Zimbabwe Trust, which postponed the initial national pageant from April to July and then indefinitely, argued that they would rather invest in next year’s pageant rather than waste resources on someone they do not completely trust to do well at the international competition.
Due to this unforeseen action people have been, according to media reports, left wondering whether the beautiful ones are not yet born or whether Chiwenga and her team are trying to pull a fast one on an unsuspecting nation.
Could they be trying to mask their inability to continue running this pageant, perhaps even lack of resources or a full plate elsewhere?
Chiwenga and her team have only been in charge of the pageant for four years, having taken over in 2013. In their first year at the helm they did not host a national pageant and subsequently failed to send a representative to the global event.
The year after they dethroned two queens, Thabiso Phiri and her successor Catherine Makaya before Tendai Hunda was called in at the last minute to represent the country and undoubtedly Hunda made a mockery of herself and the country, and the details on how she did that as the Trust watched helplessly are well documented.
Furthermore nothing changed last year as the nation witnessed the dethroning of Emily Kachote and her replacement Annie-Grace Mutambu went on to struggle on the global stage.
It was like she did not exist compared to the likes of former national queens Vanessa Sibanda, Malaika Mushandu, Lorraine Maphala and Angeline Musasiwa, models that Zimbabweans could relate to even after their reign.
Now 2016 is Chiwenga’s fourth year as organiser but besides the nude pictures scandals and lavish parties she has thrown on the occasion of the crowning of the queen; there is not much that her reign will be remembered for if she were to quit today and she is bound to cry foul that the media is targeting her, but is it really?, media reports have stated.
Even if the Trust were to miraculously hold a national pageant and select someone to represent the country; how would that model fare against representatives from other countries who have had a year to prepare for the global contest?
The Miss World finals are set to be held on December 20th in Washington DC. Models would have entered into boot camp a month earlier, giving Miss Zimbabwe Trust two months and some weeks, to hold a national pageant and prepare the country’s representative for the global event.
Tendai Hunda, a victim of the 2014 dethronements, who had a week to prepare for the Miss World, reckons that whoever would be chosen would have to be “very switched on”.
‘‘If we are to send a representative right now, that person would have to be very switched on and be supported massively at all levels in order to come up with a good project,” said the 2014 third choice Miss Zimbabwe, who recounted her horrors at Miss World 2014 in London to a media publication in Zimbabwe when she returned from the competition.
“Miss World is no longer about a girl’s beauty — it is about how she can use her beauty to help her country and vulnerable people in society — how to change the world with that beauty. “They will want to see what you have done from the time you were crowned to the time that you went to Miss World,” she said.
However, Wilbert Rukato of the Modelling Industry Association of Zimbabwe (MIAZ) believes that there are plenty of beautiful yet intelligent young girls out there.
“The problem is that there is no good relationship between the organisers of this pageant and the modelling agencies. Agencies have girls that qualify to be in this thing but they do not know what Marry (Mrs Chiwenga)’s vision is. There is no communication whatsoever except from newspaper articles.”
“As long as the modelling agencies are not part of this thing, as long as they are not treated as important stakeholders and brought together on a round table for a way forward, they (Miss Zimbabwe Trust) will never find the girls that they are looking for,” said Rukato.
Rukato says all Chiwenga and her team needed to do was writing a letter to Karen Davidson, the chairperson of MIAZ, and ask for help. MIAZ has 13 registered modelling agencies that have in their books not less than 1000 models.
Of those 1000, Rukato believes that over 100 make the grade required for Miss Zimbabwe/Miss World as others are fashion models etcetera.
“The other reason that Miss Zimbabwe Trust will not be able to attract the right girls is that they treat the competition as a lottery win. Real models are not looking for a car or money, they are looking for exposure. They should be concentrating on getting broadcasting deals with Fashion TV and other reputable channels for fashion and modelling.”
That way, this competition becomes the gateway to a modelling career, which is precisely what our models are looking for. Rukato says he and other modelling agency owners know where and how to find models to represent the country but there is no incentive to do so and no communication from the organisers.
Meanwhile, as the wheels appear to be coming off for the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, Tendai Chirau, the Trust’s spokesperson says everything is in order.
“The only problem we have is finding suitable girls that can compete for the crown at a global level. It is no use staging the event with just two girls that are clear standouts because again people will say you knew all along whom you wanted to choose.
“We would rather not hold the event if we cannot find the girls that we want. We are working with certain agencies but they too admit that there is simply no talent out there,” Chirau said.
The Trust has even gone to the extent of offering US$2000 to whoever brings a winning model.
Having missed the July 29 deadline set by the global body and with no viable date when to hold the national pageant and submit the name of Zimbabwe’s representative, Zimbabweans would surely need to know what Chiwenga and team are indeed doing.
“We told them our predicament and they said we could hold the pageant when we were ready, so the dates are not an issue. We have done it before. My only worry would be the beauty with a purpose project which the girls are supposed to have,” said Chiwenga in July after missing the deadline.
The 2016 Miss World Zimbabwe national pageant meant to find a successor to Annie-Grace Mutambu is supposed to run under the theme “Celebrating the Life of our Icon — Kiki Divaris”, in honour of the late patron of the beauty competition who died last year.