To a young rural boy, the imagination of seeing two birds fall to the ground after letting a single stone off a catapult was intriguing.
Hunting for birds is a favourite pastime for most young boys in the countryside and a single catch is of immense value.
So when I learnt about this “miracle” of hitting two birds with one stone, I was curious.
But the boyish adventures were enough to make me realise that this statement was hugely real as an allegory.
Its meaning proved far from practical no matter how hard I tried to shoot at numerous bird fleets.
With time, I knew it was just an expression and I usually recall it when a slight effort yields more than expected.
However, there was another proverb that always proved real to my young mind: Chewing more that one can swallow.
I can confess that I was a victim of a gormandising habit at a tender age.
When three or four of us would sit around two plates, one with sadza and another with relish, we competed to take the greatest share — shoving in more than one could swallow came naturally.
So, chewing more than I could swallow was never a strange habit and so was the proverb.
Decades have passed but last week the memory of all these tender experiences flashed in my mind.
That was after reading a story that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority wanted to select representatives to three international pageants off a single local contest.
According to ZTA the top three in the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe would represent the country in as many international pageants.
The pageant winner would be called Miss Zimbabwe while the first princess would be Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and the second princess Miss Universe Zimbabwe.
They will all go for international contests of their respective titles.
ZTA’s intention teased my memory. Is ZTA trying to kill two (or three) birds with one stone or chew more than it can swallow?
Will ZTA, which almost dumped this year’s Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, be able to sustain representatives to three international pageants financially and otherwise?
Well, these are two sides of a coin but the variations can be exciting.
What it plainly means is that there will be no Miss Universe Zimbabwe and Miss Zimbabwe pageants in the country outside the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe in the near future.
All the pageants have been grouped under one umbrella and this translates to a three-in-one contest.
While it is encouraging that all those highly rewarded in the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe contest would have their share of international exposure, the major question would be: Has our modelling industry fallen into such a bottomless chasm to solely depend on one pageant?
I remember that the Miss Universe Zimbabwe and Miss Zimbabwe pageants used to run separately at the turn of the millennium although the former died after its licence holder Yvette D’Almeida-Chakras left the country.
It gave models a broad selection of pageants to participate in while it also meant that we had a number of interesting modelling shows each year.
A number of pageants with various names have sprouted over the years but none has risen to national prominence.
ZTA came to the rescue of Miss Zimbabwe and now the tourism authority has taken it upon itself to make sure that the country is represented in three prestigious international pageants.
While the authority can be commended for trying to kill so many birds with one stone, this arrangement exposes our modelling industry to scrutiny.
It shows that the industry has collapsed.
Will it not be exciting to have Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Miss Universe Zimbabwe and Miss Zimbabwe pageants running separately each year?
This is food for thought for modelling agencies, promoters and sponsors.