…Exclusive Nyanga grand tour package on offer before the pageant
THE tranquil and scenic Eastern Highlands will be the focal point this Saturday as the prestigious 2019 Miss Tourism Zimbabwe final will for the first time be hosted in Manicaland Province at Montclair Hotel and Casino in Nyanga.
The event will be serenaded by the ‘Hangasa’ songbird Selmor Mtukudzi, the daughter to the legendary Zimbabwean national hero and African music icon, Oliver Mtukudzi. Selmor who has been aggressively pushing for the legacy of her father’s music will headline the entertainment on the evening but there will be other guest artistes courtesy of Spinalong Music and Harare businessman and socialite, Innocent “Mhofela” Shito. Mhofela as he is affectionately known said he will rope in some Mutare based artistes like the dynamic duo Real Eeez, as the host province, and other surprise artistes from Spinalong Music to add to the entertainment array for the glitz and glamorous event.
Miss Tourism Zimbabwe license holder Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda during a press conference in Mutare last Saturday said all preparations were in place and only one finalist from Bulawayo failed to turn up due to school commitments. Out of the 20 finalists, two representing each province in the country, 19 beauty queens started their boot camp in Nyanga last Saturday and will be there throughout the week, preparing for D-Day for the coveted national crown.
“One of our girls Olinda Mudzingwa from Bulawayo failed to come due to school commitments. She is the Bulawayo first princess. However, at this level of the national pageant we do not have queens and princesses, but classify all of them as finalists. Because in the past we have seen situations whereby somebody that would have won at provincial level get beaten by their princess. This is because some relax when they win at the regional competition whilst their princesses work harder, so it’s a level playing field at the national pageant and we strip all their titles after the sashing ceremony,” said Mpofu-Sibanda.
After a thorough search for the provincial crown holders, the tourism ambassador modelling contest which is open to all unattached ladies between the age of 18 and 25 years who have an interest in advancing their modeling career through the prestigious contest, will now look for its second national queen after rebranding last year under a new license holder.
Manicaland is currently the reigning province with the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe crown that was won by 22- year old lawyer Tafadzwa Jaricha who received the top prize of $10 000 and a Mercedes-Benz C Class. Manicaland also wrote its own history at the national pageant which was held in Bulawayo after its second representative Life Matunzeni, was also crowned second princess.
This will definitely be an inspiration to the title contending host province beauty queens, Nicole Musiyarira (21) and Rutendo Mafuratidze (21) that will be motivated to believe anything is possible after one of their own won the last national contest, not leaving out the home crowd advantage they will have.
Mpofu-Sibanda said hosting the national tourism pageant in different regions embraces the domestic tourism promotion drive which is being spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA). She added that the pageant should be for the people but in the past years it had been made an elite event hosted in Harare only, of which, everyone countrywide deserves an opportunity of attending the pageant in their home province.
“This is in line with my Miss Tourism vision of taking the pageant to all provinces. I first took it to Bulawayo and now in Manicaland. Why Manicaland? Last year was my first year of tenure and two of your girls (from Manicaland) won national titles, so Manicaland became the next best destination…In many cases we hear Zimbabweans who live outside the country not knowing much about their country, but through hosting this tourism pageant in different regions, each year we will draw people to travel, and by so doing afford people the opportunity to see new places,” she said.
She however said though they were not carrying a begging bowl, they are still open to corporate sponsors that want to partner them to make the pageant a memorable and glamorous event.
Mpofu-Sibanda also took time to clarify how Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and Miss Zimbabwe are two separately run national pageants citing that Miss Tourism started in 2005 as a brainchild of ZTA that broke away from the Miss Zimbabwe brand from the realization that there was need for a pageantry tourism ambassador.
“The queen that wins therefore has a lot to do in terms of marketing the tourism profile of the country locally and internationally through ZTA. Our queen competes in the Miss Tourism International pageant, whilst parallel Miss Zimbabwe competes in the Miss Universe pageant,” she said.
The Miss Tourism Manicaland license holder who is a former Miss Zimbabwe 2007 and Miss Tourism Africa 2007 crown holder, Caroline Marufu-Buwu said as the host province during the boot camp the finalists would visit various local tourist destinations.
“Manicaland has a lot of beautiful places. They are going to visit a number of tourist sites. Obviously you can’t come to Nyanga and not visit Mt Nyangani. We will then visit the Botanical Garden in Vumba, Bridalveil Falls in Chimanimani amongst many other places where they will get an opportunity to appreciate what Manicaland has to offer for tourism, so that when they go back to their home provinces they will market these destinations as our tourism ambassadors,” said Marufu-Buwu.
On another note Montclair Hotel and Casino will be running a promotional package for the show which will include accommodation for two, dinner and breakfast as well as two tickets for the show at $4800 (RTGS). There will also be a day tour of Nyanga on Saturday for US$40 or the equivalent RTGS rate per person, which will include shuttle service, braai at Mtarazi, viewing of the Mtarazi Falls, World View and the Nyangombe Falls as well as a sundowners treat.
“This is an opportunity to enjoy the best that Nyanga has to offer on a special day where afterwards people can dress up and attend the national pageant and have a great night outing. We hope to see people coming in their numbers, especially people from Manicaland,” said Mhofela.
Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Finalists
Charlyn Muleya (23) Matebelaland South, Maureen Gondwe (24) Mashonaland Central, Samantha Makufa (20) Mashonaland East, Chipo Mandiunza (19) Bulawayo Metropolitan, Gamuchirai Munyoro (19) Harare Metropolitan, Pauline Marere (25) Mashonaland West, Praise Masamba (24) Matabeleland North, Rutendo Mafuratidze (21) Manicaland, Rutendo Taruvinga (22) Masvingo, Nicole Madimutsa (20) Harare Metropolitan, Maria Makelve (21) Midlands, Royna Kassim (20) Matabeleland South, Grace Karimupfumbi (22) Masvingo, Nicole Musiyarira (21) Manicaland, Monalisa Tafirenyika (22) Matabeleland North, Wendy Maturi (23) Mashonaland East, Hilary Mandibaya (22) Harare Metropolitan, Michele Mupazi Midlands, Natasha Gora (22) Bulawayo Metropolitan.