By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
Eight of the injured models who were hospitalised at Murambi Gardens Clinic in Mutare have since been discharged and taken to their respective homes, amid indications that the affected contestants will now compete for the coveted title next year.
Only Michelle Mupasi from Gweru is still recovering at Gweru General Hospital.
Nine contestants were injured, including the driver, in an accident last Wednesday in Vumba. They were on their way to Eden Lodge for a boot camp programme in preparation for the pageant slated for Montclair Hotel and Casino in Nyanga.
The accident occurred when a bus carrying nine of the 19 contestants veered off the road.
In an interview, MTZ board chairperson Sibusisiwe Dube said the girls were now resting at their respective homes. No new date has yet been set.
“The wound is still fresh, but we are happy that the situation is now stable,” she said.
Pageant licence holder Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda concurred.
“It came as a shock to us too and it won’t be good for us to hurriedly do the pageant as everyone is still traumatised, including those who were not injured,” she said.
“We thank God that there were no deaths but as we speak, some of the girls are still disturbed by the situation.”
It is for that reason that organisers would want the affected contestants to compete next year.
Said Mpofu-Sibanda: “These girls deserve their chance, unfortunately it was not to be this year because of the accident that happened.”
“They are still provincial winners and they will still battle it out for the coveted title they wanted. They still meet the requirements and their queen will represent the country at the world pageant next year after being crowned.”
This year’s MTZ pageant was running under the theme, “Empowering the Girl Child through Tourism”.
The theme was selected to promote the girl child and country’s tourism sector.
The postponement of the 2019 MTZ pageant is not the first in the history of modelling across the world.
The prestigious United States fashion modelling pageant dubbed, “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”, was cancelled at last minute this year due to branding reasons.
In May, the company said it would no longer televise the fashion show.
“We are taking a fresh look at every aspect of our business — from merchandising, marketing and brand positioning, to our real estate portfolio, digital business and cost structure, literally everything,” said Victoria’s Secret in a Press statement.