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Miss Zim pageant in dire straits as contestants pay $100 for camp

by Staff reporter
10 Mar 2012 at 12:20hrs | Views
Models taking part in the Miss Zimbabwe boot camp were for the first time made to pay $100 each for their camp which will be breaking today, Saturday Leisure can reveal.

The finals for Miss Zimbabwe are slated for March 24 at the Harare International Conference Centre.

According to sources privy to the goings on at the camp which was held in Marondera, the camp is breaking today due to financial constraints.

The models were told to meet their own travel expenses back home.

During the past six years when the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority was sponsoring the pageant, the boot camp was a month long and contestants were not confined to one place but travelled the length and breadth of the country visiting among other places, tourist destinations.

The reasoning behind was that the models would have an appreciation of the country and when a winner of the event goes for international pageants she would help market the country's tourist destinations. But this was the first time in the history of the event to have Miss Zimbabwe finalists pay for their upkeep.

Previously, the girls were paid small allowances to cater for their personal needs.

The sources said the situation at the camp was so dire that the girls were made to go on a "diet" of just one slice of bread, black tea and made to skip lunch.

"When they first arrived at the camp, they were made to cook their own meals, which consisted of sadza and offals and sometimes sadza and vegetables," the source said.

The organisers have also for the first time introduced an eviction system which will see 18 out of the 35 girls walking the ramp on the final night. This, according to observers, will "kill" the whole event as there will be no reason for provinces to hold competitions to select winners to compete at the national finals.

The spokesman for the organisers of the show, Gerald Mashonga, was quoted saying every weekend there would be an eviction dubbed the Road to Miss Zimbabwe as a build-up to the final contest.

"Every weekend we will be evicting at least three girls untill we remain with the final 18. In order to avoid eviction, the girls will have to show a peak level of discipline and exhibit intelligence. Everyone has to work hard during the camp," said Mashonga.

When contacted for comment a board member of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, Paxina Kalulu, referred all questions to the patron of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, Kiki Divaris.

However, Divaris was not reachable at home and was said to be in town. The false starts and the problems bogging down the event have cast doubt on the ability of the organisers to hold the event by 24 March.

There are worries among pageant followers if the organisers would be able to raise $700 000 that is needed to host a top class show or if the winners would walk away with anything.

The previous winners of Miss Zimbabwe have walked away with big prizes.

Last year, Miss Zimbabwe Malaika Mashandu received a BMW 318i, Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Rumbidzayi Mudzengerere received a Mercedes-Benz C200 Kompressor, while Miss

Universe Lisa Morgan received a Toyota Celica and Miss G-Tide Face of Zimbabwe Kimberly Cole received a Toyota Corolla.

This year, Bulawayo province is being represented by Bongi Dlakama (Miss Bulawayo), Valerie Chingonzo (first princess) and Precious Dube (second princess).

Shipping vehicles from UK to Zimbabwe for less
Source - TC