CLOSER to home, South African top model Zozibini Tunzi is still basking in the glory of being crowned Miss Universe 2019, proving to many — Zimbabweans included — that modelling as a profession has the magic to turn around people’s fortunes, particularly the girl child.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Unlike in Zimbabwe, modelling has the potential to provide employment and turn around the economic fortunes of many local girls because it is considered a lucrative profession with rich pickings.
2019 has not been a good year for local pageantry as two national pageants, Miss World Zimbabwe and Miss Tourism Zimbabwe failed to take place. NewsDay Life&Style takes a glimpse of some of the major highlights on and off the ramp.
Former models and licence holder of the country’s flagship pageant Miss World Zimbabwe, Marry Mubaiwa, the estranged wife of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga is in remand prison after she was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on allegations of fraud after allegedly misrepresenting to court officials that her husband had consented to a marriage ceremony when, in fact, he had not because he was bedridden at the time. She is also facing allegations of attempting to kill her husband while he was on life support at a South African hospital. She is also being charged for contravening the Exchange Control Act by externalising more than US$1 million to South Africa and China between October 2018 and May 2019.
Zim pulls out of Miss World 2019
Zimbabwe failed to send a representative at this year’s Miss World pageant held at the ExCeL Arena in London after the pageant organisers Miss Zimbabwe Trust cancelled the local event due to the country’s economic challenges. According to the pageant spokesperson Tendai Chirawu, hosting of the glamorous pageant was a difficult undertaking because it comes with a huge budget, adding that Miss World Zimbabwe pageant was not a business, but a charity initiative.
The reigning Miss World Zimbabwe queen, Belinda Potts had her tenure extended to next year.
Miss Tourism Zim finalists in accident
This year’s edition of the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe grand finale that was scheduled for the first week of December at Montclair Hotel in Nyanga failed to take place and was postponed indefinitely after the finalists were involved in an accident at the 13km peg along the Vumba-Mutare highway on their way to Eden Lodge. In confirming the accident, Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Tavhiringwa Kakohwa said the driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle which then overturned once and landed on its left side. Ten of the 19 finalists, who were scheduled to battle for honours at the pageant were injured and some of them were initially admitted at Murambi Gardens (Hospital) in Mutare.
Luzaine crowned Mister Zim
After almost five years hosting Mister Zimbabwe pageant online, Zim Gossip Models agency founder Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga this year decided to host the pageant live at Dreams Night Club in Harare on Saturday.
Gweru-based model Devson Takudzwa Luzaine was crowned Mister Zimbabwe King after shrugging off stiff competition from 14 other models. Bernard “BenChest” Ndlovu of Bulawayo was crowned Mister Zimbabwe Brand Ambassador, while Tatenda Njunike of Harare was crowned Mister Zimbabwe People’s Choice, with Ishmael Muragandi being capped Mister Zimbabwe Prince.
Zimbabwe has had a long list of successful models including Jonathan Denga, Jefferson Muserera, Lungani Mkwebu and Tichaona “Tich” Maruziva.
Teen model flies national flag high
Miss Teen Zimbabwe Wadzanai Muzvongi (19) raised the country’s flag high in July when she was adjudged the first princess after giving a good account of herself on the ramp during this year’s edition of the Miss Teen Continentals pageant finals held in Las Vegas, the United States. Muzvongi, who is a spoken word artist, was beaten to the crown by South African teenage beauty Chace Collett, who was crowned the new Miss Teen Continentals.
Model sues minister, ZRP boss, PG
Harare-based model, Tafadzwa Mushunje, who was awarded a US$45 000 compensation by the court following her arrest and prosecution over charges of assault and deliberately infecting her lover’s child with HIV, is suing three government officials in their official capacities, for contempt of court.
Following the granting of an order in her favour by High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore in August last year, Mushunje has been making frantic efforts to compel Home Affairs minister, the Police Commissioner-General and Prosecutor-General (PG) to pay her, but without success. Despite having been censured by the court, the law enforcement agents and the PG have failed to comply with the court order, prompting the model to approach the court again for recourse.
Super model basks in parenthood
Former Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Samantha Tshuma, affectionately known as Sammy, in February boasted that she was enjoying motherhood and seeing her daughters grow. The former supermodel gave birth to a daughter, Alaina Matipoa Lungile, her second child, after Stephanie April Mhlanga, who was born in South Africa five years ago. The beauty queen rose to fame when she was crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe in 2010.
She is running a modelling agency, Open Eye Studio, located at Bradfield shops in Bulawayo. The studio trains and manages models and also offers image consultancy, events management and photography.
Zimbabwean model Pauline Marere last month added another feather to her crown after she was capped Miss Pan-African Queen at the continental pageant’s 2019 grand finale held in Lagos, Nigeria. Her winning package included US$3 000 prize money, a vehicle, a film acting deal and a trip to Dubai.
Despite having lost the Miss Heritage Global title in Ghana in August this year, Marere remained optimistic that she would bring the Miss Pan-African title home, and her dream has come true.
Manyange crowned Miss Lumiere International World 2019 Goodwill
Tapuwanashe Allin Manyange
Local beauty model, Tapuwanashe Allin Manyange, was this month crowned Miss Lumiere International World 2019 Goodwill at Forest City in Malaysia. Manyange, who is originally from Hwange, has a colourful modelling resume that includes Ms Africa Continental 2019 (second runner-up), Ms Africa Zimbabwe 2019, Face of Africa 2019 (second runner-up), Miss Ambassador for Peace Africa (Third runner-up), Best Petite Model 2018 at the Zimbabwe Models Awards, Miss Legacy Zimbabwe 2017, Miss Summer Victoria Falls 2017 and Miss Summer Midlands 2014. Having always been passionate about helping society’s less privileged people, Manyange has also been involved in several charity events.