HARARE – The stakes are high for the Miss World Zimbabwe pageant set for Borrowdale Brooke Golf Course tonight.
After failing to take place last year amid claims that the pageant had failed to attract the “right girls,” there is pressure on the Marry Chiwenga-led Miss Zimbabwe Trust to deliver an event worth the $300 individuals are forking out to gain entry.
Tendai Chirau, spokesperson for the national pageant, told the Daily News that Miss World Zimbabwe 2017 “will be worth every cent” and will be better than the 2014 edition held at Mabvazuva Lodge in the capital which reportedly gobbled half a million dollars.
“The $300 for an individual ticket and $3 000 for a corporate table is very fair. We are not hosting an ordinary event. It will be a classy event, a VIP one, which will include a dinner with a state-of-the-art meal. It will be a three-course meal,” said an unapologetic Chirau who added the steep price was meant to attract the right crowd.
“It is expensive to host a black tie event of such calibre. The charges are meant to separate the boys from men. The prices help us to attract the right crowd. At least those who cannot afford to attend will watch it live on ZBC TV. ZBC will live-stream the event too. ”
The 400 guests that will attend tonight’s black tie event, to be compered by ZBC TV main news anchor Rumbidzai Takawira, will be entertained by award-winning South African music star, Ringo Madlingozi, best known in Zimbabwe for his collaboration with music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi on the hit Into Yami.
In addition to Ringo, whose hits include Sondela and Ndiyagodola, the event will also feature performances by sungura star Alick Macheso, Zimdancehall star Killer T and a dance group.
Chirau told the Daily News that the prejudging which took place on Saturday went according to schedule.
“The prejudging constitutes 70 percent of the total marks. The 16 girls had to answer a diverse range of questions. On Saturday night (tonight) they will be competing for the remaining 30 percent,” he said.
The Miss Zimbabwe Trust spokesperson, however, refused to divulge the prizes that will be on offer tonight.
“The prizes will be revealed at a later stage but all I can say is that the prizes are very attractive,” he told the Daily News.
In 2015, the national beauty queen walked away with $20 000 in addition to a car.
The first princess got $15 000 with the second princess pocketing $10 000 while Miss Personality received $5 000.
Chirau could not be drawn into revealing the type of car that will be given to Miss World Zimbabwe 2017.
There was an outcry in 2015 when the national queen got a Kia Picanto which was far less valuable than the Chevrolet Cruze that was on offer the previous year.
The Miss Zimbabwe prizes are also significantly lower than those of Miss South Africa.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters walked away with two million-rand worth of prizes when she was crowned Miss South Africa 2017 at the end of March this year.
The judging panel for Miss World Zimbabwe 2017 includes ZOL chief executive officer Danny Marandure, Liquid Telecom Chief commercial officer Martin Mushambadope, legislator Betty Nhambu Kaseke, the honorary consul of the Sultanate of Oman in Zimbabwe, Kamal Khalfan and Jianan’s David Zhou.
The pageant auditors will be from Grant Thornton.