Friday, 25 November 2016

ZIMBABWE: Miss Tourism Unveils Sponsor

Justice Maphosa

Maphosa, through his Big Time Strategic Group and SA Zim Business Connection, was unveiled as the main sponsor at a colourful ceremony held at an upmarket club in the capital on Tuesday.

Pageant patron, Barbara Mzembi told guests at the event that she was grateful for the sponsorship.

“The pageant’s identity had been damaged to an extent that no corporate believed in it. I struggled to sponsor it and (now) after getting a sponsor, I want to show everyone that pageantry can be a good marketing strategy. Thank you for investing in my vision,” she said.

Mzembi said she was hopeful they would get the young woman “with beauty and brains” they were looking for from the 18 going into boot camp.

“The winning queen does not only have to be beautiful, but should have passion, charm and the brains as a brand ambassador to represent Zimbabwe’s culture and diversity to the world and spearhead the country’s tourism campaign, demonstrating how the country offered vibrant religious and eco-tourism,” she said.

The pageant winner, Mzembi said, will travel to the I love New York Conservation Society and the Niagara Falls, courtesy of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation to learn about conservation.

“We have partnered with ChildLine to create projects that can help them come out from their situations,” she said.
“That is the strength and cornerstone of Miss Tourism Zimbabwe.”

Maphosa said sponsoring a pageant was not a licence for one to seek opportunities of preying on contestants.

“That habit of saying ‘after our sponsorship, we want a girl’ must stop. That is not part of our ethics and moral fibre. Miss Tourism Zimbabwe must be the best pageant. Let’s show what Zimbabwe is all about,” he said.

The businessman, who hails from Gwanda, said he was ploughing back into the community to ensure sustainable development in the country and help restore the dignity of the girl child.

ZTA chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke applauded Mzembi’s efforts to develop Miss Tourism.

He said ZTA was behind Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, as it was “a key vehicle” in marketing the country.

The 18 finalists drawn from the country’s 10 provinces and the Diaspora are set to troop into the boot camp on November 17.

Only 15 out of the 18 finalists will emerge from the boot camp to contest in the grand finale.