BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

ORGANISERS of the inaugural Africa Super Model 2020 pageant have moved the pageant, scheduled for July 4, to August 29 as they closely monitor the developments in the tourism and hospitality industry against the grim backdrop of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

By yesterday, the country had recorded nine deaths, 885 cases of COVID-19, including 206 recoveries.

Government, in partnership with tourism operators, has developed protocols and guidelines outlined in Statutory Instrument 90 of 2020 and in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines to be released to tourism players allowing a cautious, phased reopening.

The Africa Super Model pageant, which seeks to celebrate African beauty on the ramp, was supposed to be held virtually on July 4 on Models TV channel and several social media platforms.

Modelling guru Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga ), who is the brains behind the pageant, yesterday told NewsDay Life & Style that they were hoping for the best in the hospitality industry so that they can host the boot camp scheduled for August 26 at a local hotel ahead of the grand finale.

“As we continue to closely follow the developments amid this COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in the current national lockdown, we are now waiting for the government to relax the COVID-19 restrictions in the hospitality industry so that we can host our grand finale,” she said.

“In modelling, the boot camp is more important than the crowning night as it is at the boot camp that our judges are able to judge models character, behaviour and their ability to socialise. So we are hoping to host our boot camp as soon as the government relaxes the COVID-19 restrictions in the hospitality industry.”

Mushaninga said only 12 finalists, aged between 17 and 30, would compete for the crown at the pageant’s grand finale.

“On the grand finale night, 12 finalists, 11 from the judges’ choices and one (Gamuchirai Muchirahondo) the people’s choice will battle for the crown. The idea behind the Africa Super Model pageant is to celebrate the African beauty,” she said.

“We want the young models to love themselves the way they are, we want them to feel confident about themselves in their natural hair as most models think having expensive imported weaves make them beautiful. We want to embrace our beauty that we still look beautiful in our own hair. So on the night, the contestants will not wear weaves, braids, wigs and no hair straightener.”

Mushaninga said apart from the modelling extravaganza, there was also going to be a surprise artiste who will take to the stage during the pageant’s intervals.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw