By Dakarai Mashava
Efforts to bring two of the most “powerful” women in the local beauty pageant industry to work together seem to be hitting a brickwall.
The initiative, by South African businessman Justice Maphosa to merge Miss World Zimbabwe and Miss Tourism Zimbabwe into one big national event has suffered a still-birth.
Miss Tourism Zimbabwe is run by Barbara, wife to Tourism minister Walter Mzembi while Miss World Zimbabwe is run by Marry, wife to general Constantino Chiwenga.
At a press conference to announce the date for this year’s Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals, Maphosa who is the director of Bigtime Strategic Group — the main sponsor of Miss Tourism Zimbabwe — suggested the creation of one big national beauty pageant.
“We are talking to Miss Zimbabwe and we are coming up with synergies as to how to fuse and have the way forward on how these two pageants can work together and come up with one product that will go and represent one Zimbabwe, that is happening,” the South Africa-based businessman was quoted as saying at a Miss Tourism Zimbabwe press conference last week where they announced this year’s dates.
(Barbara) Mzembi who is Miss Tourism Zimbabwe patron said she has no problem “with the merger if it meets the interests of both pageants.
“I have no problem with the sponsor’s suggestion as long as it meets the requirements of both pageants. It is simply a suggestion from the sponsor,” she said.
But a spokesperson for Miss World Zimbabwe told the Daily News yesterday that their pageant was not interested in the purported merger with Miss Tourism Zimbabwe.
Programmes and communications manager Tendai Chirau said while there are people who want that merger to happen, there are no talks on the matter that are on the table.
“There is no point in holding such talks anyway because these are two totally different pageants with different requirements. For example, the pageants have different age requirements,” said Chirau.
He added that for one to be eligible for Miss Zimbabwe, a girl has to be in the 18 to 25 age range while for Miss Tourism Zimbabwe it is the 18 to 24 age bracket.
“In addition to different age requirements, Miss Zimbabwe has a minimum of 170 centimetres which doesn’t apply to the other pageant. We are looking for girls with the height of 1,72cm going up, hip size 99cm and below, weight 60 kilogrammes and below and good teeth,” the Miss Zimbabwe communications manager said.
Although Miss Zimbabwe cancelled its 2016 edition claiming that it had failed to attract “the right girls,” there are other sectors that believe the real reason for pulling the plug on the event was lack of sponsorship.
But Chirau has disputed this and still insists that Miss Zimbabwe was well-sponsored.
“The sponsors we had last year are ready to work with us again. In fact, last year our sponsors advised us to cancel the event because we had not attracted the right girls.”
In order to make this year’s edition better than the previous ones, the Miss Zimbabwe spokesperson revealed that they had forged new partnerships.
“The (Miss Zimbabwe) Trust entered into an agreement with organisers of Miss World Zimbabwe USA, Miss World Zimbabwe South Africa and Miss World Zimbabwe Canada that they will each send three representatives to the Miss World Zimbabwe boot camp and join the local finalists.
“The boot camp is scheduled to start on July 3,” Chirau said.
He invited girls meeting the national pageant’s requirements to attend auditions that will run between June 29 and July 1.
“For the local auditions, the girls who were shortlisted last year will be re-auditioned. In addition, new aspirants who meet the conditions are welcome to the auditions,” Chirau said. Daily News