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Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
WITH the downturn of national pageants, there is a glimmer of hope for aspiring models with tertiary institutions being at the forefront of hosting pageants such as Miss School of Mines, Miss Nust and Miss Bulawayo Poly.
The Nust Ceremonial Hall in Bulawayo was filled to capacity recently as people flocked to the university to watch Miss Nust being crowned showing that there is a yearning by people for these pageants.
While organisers of the country’s flagship pageant, Miss Zimbabwe, claim that they had to cancel last year’s pageant after failing to secure beautiful girls, other school pageants seem to be proving them wrong judging by the calibre of contestants they are attracting.
Since 2013, Miss Nust – organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC) – has proved to be a force to reckon with as it has been held consistently, producing quality models who have gone on to represent the university on a national and some, international level. Entertainment provided at the pageant has been worldclass as organisers make an effort to invite notable artistes.
A notable winner is eloquent Ashley Morgen who was crowned Miss Nust in 2015 and went on to win Miss Tourism Zimbabwe last year.
“We’ve held the pageant consistently ever since 2013. Miss Nust has grown through the SRC dedication and other partners. Previous mistakes have been noted and each year we improve the event,” said SRC president Terrence Shoko.
He said their event could even be bigger but lack of sponsorship had seen them slow down.
“With the prevailing economic environment, it’s been difficult to find sponsorship for the event thus we’ve had to trim down on some other aspects. For example, this year, we’d have wanted the models to go for boot camp and visit a charity organisation, but because of lack of funds, we’d to forgo all these plans.”
Shoko said the driving force to organising the event was to merge and glorify beauty and brains.
“As our theme this year was Empowering the Girl Child, pageants to us, are about celebrating the beauty of women; their confidence and intelligence.
“It’s therefore very important for a university to keep that platform alive,” said Shoko.