In most African cultures, it is a taboo for women to propose love to men. It is beyond imagination for a lady to ask for a gentleman’s hand in marriage, unless the case relates to inheritance procedures.
REPORT BY OUR STAFF]
It sounds more absurd for a queen to call men for a parade in order to choose a would-be king.
However, in a rare case, an African queen is expected to select her king from a line-up of anticipating Zimbabwean gentlemen next month.
The queen is none other than the recently crowned Diamond Queen of Africa, Chiedza Gwanda. Welcome to a unique pageant, dubbed Diamond King of Africa.
Defying odds in the modelling circles, the inaugural Diamond King of Africa male pageant would not need a judges’ panel.
Gwanda will personally choose a man to work with during her reign from a parade of almost 20 men to be selected during preliminary auditions.
The winner would be crowned Diamond King of Africa. The Diamond Queen and King will thereafter embark on a number of charity projects under the Diamond Queen banner.
Pageant organiser Mercy Mushaninga said they had brought the unique pageant to put a lighter side to modelling for a charitable cause.
“Instead of calling judges to select a winning model, we found it fit to avail a unique pageant in the name of charity,” said Mushaninga.
“People should get it right here, we are not marrying off the queen but we just need a male participant in our charity projects. We came up with this idea to make the choice of the male participant funny and unique.”
Modeling experts are expected to select finalists during auditions to be held ahead of the final. The auditions are open to men aged between 20 and 30 years. Finalists would then come before the Diamond Queen of Africa for scrutiny. Gwanda said she would be looking for various attributes among the finalists to choose her best match.
“I will be looking for a man who has a heart for charity,” said the 22-year-old model.
“I am looking forward to working with someone who is humble and has real love for disadvantaged children. Of course the person has to be presentable but my focus would be more on character than appearance.”
Gwanda outpaced 15 other models to scoop the inaugural Diamond Queen of Africa crown in a tight contest in Harare recently. The pageant saw a number of African contestants from outside Zimbabwe taking part.
It was Gwanda’s first time to take part in a pageant and she was overwhelmed by the victory.
“I had never participated in a pageant before. I envied models as I was growing up but I knew pageants were for the slim and tall. My height and weight discouraged me from pursuing modeling until I met a models’ groomer at Zim Gossip modeling agency who told me about a unique pageant called Diamond Queen of Africa.
“I was told the pageant was not for the slim and tall but curvaceous models. I enrolled at the agency for a three-month grooming and tried my luck on the ramp for the first time. It was a nice experience.”
Gwanda is a third-year law student at the University of Zimbabwe and she sees modeling as a good way to reach out to the disadvantaged.
“I will pursue law professionally but I want to be involved with models in assisting the disadvantaged. I will make sure that I make a mark in the community through charity work.”