Vongai Mbara Arts Reporter—
It was not an ordinary Saturday night in Kuwadzana 6 as Holland Centre became a hive of activity during the inaugural Miss Kuwadzana pageant. The classy stage and exceptional lighting brought different colours to a place that is not known for such ambiance. Although Kuwadzana 6 shopping centre is fast becoming a point of attraction due to the popular “gango”, Miss Kuwadzana pageant brought a feel of style that is alien to most high density suburbs.
Everything was just classy and all this was done for a worthy cause — to empower the girl child.
Miss Kuwadzana is a brain child of the area’s Member of Parliament Dr Betty Kaseke who should be applauded for making the young girls from the area realise that they can get what most aspiring models yearn for in their dreams.
A massive crowd of Kuwadzana residents came out and anticipated at the outdoor event in an effort to support their MP’s vision.
It was a memorable night for 19-year-old student Michelle Badza, who was crowned the inaugural queen of the pageant that is set to be an annual event.
Badza was all smiles after she was announced the winner and bagged $1 500 in addition to automatically qualifying for the next edition of Miss World Zimbabwe.
Her first major task comes early as she will lead the Kuwadzana Carnival street party which will be held next weekend in preparation for the Harare International Carnival.
Sheereen Selemani was crowned First Princess while Melissa Jack was voted Second Princess and Previous Chindinhi became Miss Personality.
First Princess got $1 000, Second Princess pocketed $750 while Miss Personality got $650.
The four winners were also awarded with holiday vouchers to Victoria Falls as well as full-time jobs in the MP’s office where they will be paid a fixed salary of $300 each monthly.
The beauty pageant was the culmination of weeks of auditions and preparation by eight beautiful and talented young Kuwadzana ladies who competed to serve as community ambassador extraordinaries.
Among other dignitaries, the event was graced by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Dr Karikoga Kaseke who is husband to Betty.
Speaking at the event, Betty said the pageant was one of her strategies to create employment for the girl child.
“This pageant is all about honouring and supporting girls in our community which is why we specifically took girls who reside in Kuwadzana. I moved around with our fifteen contestants and we visited orphanages, schools and homes because I wanted them to know exactly what they were signing up for. The winners will help me and everyone to improve our community and make it better,” she said.
“I am also working with women on various projects to empower them. So far we have fixed roads and boreholes and we are looking forward to more. As for the boy child, we are empowering you through the Star Brite talent search so do not feel left out,” she said.
Despite the cold weather, it truly was an epic night where beauty, brains, grace and talent were showcased.
Kuwadzana dancers and singers like Mbada Flex, Clark fit, Zim Asset and Jah Bezel were given a platform to showcase their talents as they provided entertainment throughout the evening.
The show kick-started with a carnival themed wear designed by Dr Betty Kaseke herself and the girls modelled as they were being introduced to the massive crowd.
Other categories included ethnic wear and evening wear and the models fit perfectly in their custom made gowns.
Dancehall chanter, Jah Signal was the highlight of the night as he showed his lyrical talent and even dedicated one of his song, “Kurova Ngoma” to Betty Kaseke.
To show her appreciation, the MP went on stage and danced with him.
Kuwadzana chanter queen, Khadijah was amongst the performers and she proved that she is one fierce female who is here to stay by her energetic performance.
It was a tough competition as all the models had come prepared to take the Miss Kuwadzana tittle but the judges did their best in selecting the winners.
Badza who was overjoyed promised to take her role seriously.
“This is amazing. I cannot even describe how I am feeling. I am so grateful to our MP for doing this for us. I am looking forward to working with her and improve our community,” said Badza.
Although the programme flowed smoothly, the crowd could not control their excitement and pressed towards the stage for Seh Calaz who performed after the crowning ceremony.
Seh Calaz thrilled the audience with his hits and put the icing on the cake. Most young people in the crowd danced the night away and sang along to Seh Calaz’s songs.