Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
Modelling and fashion enthusiasts who could not make it to the Miss Zimbabwe 2014 held in Msasa were in for a big treat when ZBCTV screened the pageant live from Mabvazuva Village on Saturday.
This took us back to the days of Angeline Hundah nee-Musasiwa, the Miss Zimbabwe 1994, when pageantry was big in Zimbabwe.
It was so big that it had strong connections with the Child Survival, a charitable organisation headed by the First Lady Amai Sally Mugabe.
Then, Angeline or simply Angie was a University student who grabbed the attention of the entire nation and clinched the title earning herself the title “beauty with brains”.
Angie’s win raised the interest of pageantry in Zimbabwe as well as inspired many young women to take up modelling seriously.
The same year she was crowned, Angie left an indelible mark in the history of pageantry in Zimbabwe after she took part at the Miss World held in London and emerged fourth at a contest won by India’s top Bollywood actress – Aishwarya Rai.
That was a record which up to now is still to be broken.
But much more than her beauty and brains, Angie had a huge personality such that throughout her reign, she had built a strong profile of several charity work. There were no scandals to talk about and she was stuck with her longtime boyfriend – Joseph Hundah who she met at the UZ.
To date, Angie is a proud mother and a successful businesswoman at that.
Angie’s success story also inspired other beauty queens who followed but for some reason didn’t manage to fill in her footsteps.
You talk about the likes of Brita Masalethulini, having impressed at the inaugural Miss Malaika held in Harare, she fell far too short at the Miss World and sadder still, her love life was shrouded in controversy.
So when it was announced that Marry Chiwenga nee-Mubaiwa, a former Miss Zimbabwe and top model contestant, had become the chairperson of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, it didn’t come as a surprise.
Marry took over the affairs of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority who during their time did well in making sure that the pageant stayed with us.
But one good thing that characterised this year’s Miss Zimbabwe was the glitz and glamour that is associated with pageantry the world over.
Yours truly attended the Miss World 2011 pageant held in London, thanks to ZTA in the days when they were still in the game.
The trip was an eye-opener and quite honestly compared to what happened at the recently held Miss Zimbabwe, it appears Marry and her organising team are on the right direction.
First and foremost, Marry has been through it all in modelling and she knows the highs and lows of pageantry.
Prior to the Miss Zimbabwe finals, the contestants went into bootcamp where they were trained in etiquette, grooming, cat-walking and what have you. I could see Marry going an extra mile in ensuring that the models had the best of what Zimbabwe has to offer.
The contestants also participated in several activities including fitness training and tours around the country which include flying off to the majestic Victoria Falls, The National Defence College and the National Heroes Acre.
All these activities culminated into a brilliant red carpet show on Saturday night.
The black-tie event saw guests being treated to five star treatment with high end whiskeys on each table spiced by designer perfumes and elegance.
The stage was perfect and the lighting was just the right choice. The models looked stunning and the designer outfit were made to fit. The panel of judges was well represented including the likes of Frank Buyanga, who most people thought he was on the “most wanted” list.
The only sad part was that the show was like any other gala that we have seen on ZBCTV, painstakingly too long and fraught with glitches. Imagine, the show started around 7pm and ended way after midnight.
According to international standards the whole show including entertainment is supposed to last not more than 45 minutes. A former international model should know that. And the live bands were supposed to perform at the “After-party” not during or the middle of the show. It was equally embarrassing to hear Apama calling the models “mistresses”. In fact, the whole Apama thing was a nuisance. He performed the usual antics and those who are familiar with his act could have done without his same routine of dressing down to his underwear.
If the organisers felt that Uncle Ritchie’s jokes would add value to the show, they should have invited him to perform live not to play a voice over.
The show could have been smooth running without the live acts although the mellow offerings of Trevor Dongo was good and so were the Amazulu drummers.
But the rather noisy offerings of Macheso and Jah Prayzah struck the wrong chord at what was supposed to be a classy event. A mbira performance would have kept it Zimbabwean without compromising on the elegance of the function.
But all in all, it was a great show and we hope that the subsequent editions will be superb.
Until next week remember this is television and its real.
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