By Prince Mushawevato
Newly crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Ashley Morgen appears to be a lady made of an assortment of qualities, some which may see her scale dizzy heights.
The bubbly and visibly confident young lady is both hard-working and unwavering. Possibly four D’s – determination, dedication, diligence and direction; can best describe the Matebeleland born and bred model. The said qualities might be the reason why she not only won the top prize but also got the People’s Choice award.
For the crown she got US$20 000 and a car, and for her People’s Choice award, she took home another US$2 500, among other prizes.
Apart from focusing on the pageant’s finale that was held on November 25 in the capital, Morgen also had her National University of Science and Technology (Nust) exams to worry about. Thus, the model had to quickly dash to Bulawayo soon after her crowning.
She was literally consumed with her exams and studies the whole of last week.
Fortunately, the new queen managed to spare a few minutes for The Sunday Mail Leisure crew.
Q: Who is Ashley Morgen?
A: I’m a 22-year-old born in Bulawayo, raised in Victoria Falls then moved back to Bulawayo for university. I am a foodie, lover of meat. I love fashion but on a basic school day, I’m laid back in jeans and sandals. However, I love dressing up on special occasions. Also I’m a Christian and a member of Zaoga Forward in Faith Ministries.
Q: What are you studying and what are your plans after varsity?
A: I’m currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours Degree in Marketing. Ultimately I want to venture in advertising and brand management thus I will definitely further my studies. Marketing is so dynamic and broad and I cannot wait to explore most if not all of its branches. I remain cognisant though of the fact that new avenues can be opened in line with my personality and I will gladly pursue them.
Q: Tell us how you have been able to balance between boot camp and studying?
A: Boot camp dates were released during our semester and fortunately, our examination timetable was already out. Against this background, l knew which modules to tackle first before even checking into boot camp and equally I prepared for the first two exams making sure that after camp I would only focus on revision.
Q: Was modelling always a part of your plans?
A: l first got appreciation of the modelling industry at the age of seven when I saw Brita (Masalethulini) being crowned Miss Malaika. I did not understand what it meant but l just decided I would do it also. Then my first chance as a model came when I was eight years old, at a primary pageant but unfortunately I lost. I again gave it a try the following year and was crowned queen. From there onwards, I actively took part in pageants and the passion is growing with time. I’m always happy on stage.
Q: Who is your source of inspiration?
A: It may sound archaic but that would be my mother. I have lived and seen her experiences and better understand her. Also I have heard some of the things she has been through in her childhood. I’ve watched her fall so many times but still managing to get up and continue to keep her faith and praise to God. Basically her life story inspires me.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I come from a family of five children, with me being ‘the cream to the biscuit’, having two older and two younger siblings. Our family is made up of three girls and two boys. I take some of my traits from my father who is a serious football lover. He was a player in his early years but later graduated to coaching and eventually worked for the Zimbabwe Football Association and is currently with Highlanders.
Q: You won lots of cash as prize money, how do you plan to spend it?
A: l am still weighing my options but certainly I’m going to make sound investments and at the same time plough some of it into girl child projects, which I will be involved in.
Q: Do you not have fears of a “naughty past” like nude pictures that can come to haunt you now that you are in the spotlight?
A: I have no fears at all and wish no young lady to have or live in such fear. One should always do the right thing all the time. The Sunday Mail