Organisers of the inaugural Mister Teen Zimbabwe pageant have announced August 1, 2020 as the date for the crowning ceremony.
This pageant is mostly about the boy child and is currently being run on an Instagram page — “Mister Teen Zimbabwe 2020”.
The pageant began in late June with auditions hosted online. This was because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It attracted a lot of participation from teenage boys.
After thorough judging, where they were asked to post their pictures and the public voted for the finalists, only 10 boys made it. The focus is now on the five who are in the finale.
The 10 finalists were: Blessing Manyara (19); Muhammad Ameer Samsodien (16); Shingai Murisi (16); Tavonga Muwani (18); Kelvin Mavawani (18); Clint Kugowa (18); Taonashe Gwirai (18); Mthokozisi Magaisa (18); Ben Dube (15); and Zibusisio Ngwenya(18) impressed and got the highest votes.
Winners will walk away with cash prizes, fashion and modelling contracts and certificates of participation.
In an interview with pageant founder member-cum model, Ishmael Isheanesu, said all was set for the final.
“We down-streamed the boys to top five out of the 15 boys who took part and they too are in the running to be crowned Mister Zimbabwe. The pageant was hosted to give the boy child a chance to shine and showcase their talent.
“We have a lot of young men in Africa if not Europe who are earning a living through modelling, so I decided to open doors for boys so that when they see such opportunities they are not intimidated,” he explained.
Contestants were given assignments to fulfill.
“Our competition started with only three provinces responding to the call – Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare. There were given assignments — projects — and we were looking for punctuality, creativity and humility. From the challenges, five were selected from the top 10. We are now working with top five only,” he says.
The voting process on social media was conducted fairly, he says, fending off allegations that there was vote-buying after some parents complained on social media.
Earlier this week some parents fumed about the pageant charging that that there was favoritism if one paid USD20 to the organisers.
“We were surprised all of a sudden to see one boy with more than 900 votes yet a day before he was around 300 votes. Maybe the boy’s team managed to push fans to vote but when we asked we were told to pay $20 so that we get more marks.
“I decided to drop my son because he was disappointed after all the efforts. May the best candidate win, but I urge the modelling board of Zimbabwe — if it is there – to take note of these pageants because these are kids, one day something might happen to them,” charged one disgruntled parents, while asking for anonymity.
But Isheanesu responded: “This is weird, I received the news and complaints from other parents that I am being paid upfront to push for votes on social media.
“Honestly, how can this happen? There are children hungry for this title. So it can be a parent who is bitter after their son failed to make it to top 10 and feel cheated. Lies cannot bring me down, registration was only $2.
“Only five made it and we will have their work submitted to a panel of five judges from different countries such as Ghana and Nigeria with Zimbabwe having three seats on the panel of the virtual process,” he explained.
The overall winner will walk away with ZWL $1500 with $900 for first-runner-up and the second runner-up getting $500.