…as patrons ‘detained’ at HICC
RISING model Hillary Mandibaya’s star continues to shine on the ramp as she was crowned the new Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Harare metropolitan queen on Saturday night during the prestigious pageant’s provincial finals held at Spin Village, Rainbow Towers, in Harare.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The 21-year old Biological Sciences student at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) continues to curve a name in the pageantry industry as the latest title is an addition to other two crowns, first princess Black Opal Face of Zimbabwe and Miss Face of Mount Pleasant all won in 2017.
Mandibaya will be joined by other provincial winners at the pageant’s grand finale to choose the country’s top tourism ambassador in November.
In an interview with NewsDay Life &Style on the sidelines of the pageant, the soft spoken Mandibaya said being herself, both in the boot camp and on the ramp, contributed to her triumph.
“This is not my first time doing pageants. For this one I didn’t know I was going to win because I auditioned so that I can learn more and winning for me was a bonus. I had fun as I made new friends from different backgrounds,” she said.
It was a double delight for another UZ student Nicole Madimutsa (19) who was adjudged the First Princess and Best Talent (dance).
“From my high school days, I have always been interest in pageants, but Miss Tourism Harare Metropolitan is my first professional and big pageant in my career. I am overwhelmed as this was a challenge I conquered as I believe in myself,” she said.
“I have always told myself that I should challenge my limits and not let the limits to challenge me as I face the challenge.”
As a way of appreciating the winners, since there were no prizes for the models, one of the pageant sponsors Mhofela of Spinalong dug deep into his pockets for some United States dollars and gave them to some of the models.
Meanwhile, there was an outcry from the patrons who felt “detained” as the event organisers failed to adhere to the initial programme after starting the event two hours late resulting in the pageant running till the wee hours of Sunday.
This did not go down well with some of the guests who were forced to leave the venue before they witnessed the crowning of the winners.
The event organisers also came under scrutiny as the outgoing queen Panashe Kimberly Peters was the emcee during the first segment of the pageant.
However, the pageant organiser and licence holder of the four provinces, Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga defended their actions saying they followed global trends.
“We are trying to go in tandem with the global trends that is why we have changed a lot of things even the judging criteria it was different from what we used to do. With other international pageants the outgoing queen becomes the emcee and this is the same we did with our outgoing queen Panashe,” she said.
“Our outgoing queen was part of the boot camp and she understood our models better from the boot camp so we decided she introduces the girls as she knew them better and there was no problem her doing that. In other pageants, some even bring the outgoing queens to be part of the organising team. We introduce new things in pageantry to make it exciting.”
The pageant’s national license holder Mpofu-Sibanda of Fingers Academy, however, felt Mushaninga and her team did their best at the event.
“The organisers managed to up their game from last year’s edition. It’s good to see sponsors coming to support, we really need people across the country, to come and support us,” she said.
“We are done with all the 10 provinces and now it’s the big one and we are earmarking it for the month of November. We do have a tentative venue and a tentative province which we are yet to confirm.”
An array of beauty queens and socialites, among them Ginimbi, graced the event. Apart from the modelling extravaganza, guests were treated to some entertainment by afro-jazz songstress Diana “MaNgwenya” Samkange alongside rhumba sensation Baka Ngwasuma and The Spinalong family, among other performers.