After facing challenges that even forced her to postpone the initial date for the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals, licence holder Sarah Mpofu Sibanda says they have surpassed expectations and met the targets they had set for themselves as a team.
By Sindiso Dube
The pageant was held in Bulawayo last week on Saturday at a colourful ceremony, which saw Mutare model and lawyer Tafadzwa Jaricha being crowned queen and pocketing $10 000. She will receive a Mercedes-Benz C Class from South Africa-based Zimbabwean businesswoman and philanthropist Mercy Mafaro.
Mashonaland East’s Natalie Tariro Chido Mangondo (22) and Life Deliwe Matunzeni (22) from Manicaland were crowned first and second princess and received $7 000 and $5 000 respectively.
Mpofu Sibanda was forced to postpone the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finals after the date clashed with the Miss World Zimbabwe grand finale.
After the postponement, there were also rumours that the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageant had been suspended this year.
“It’s our first time hosting the pageant and I think we have surpassed expectations,” Mpofu Sibanda told The Standard Style last week.
“my teamand I worked really hard to get this event going and to be where we are right now. At some point, we almost gave up and there were rumours circulating that we won’t be hosting the event, but here we are.
“Remember we were forced to postpone after we had clashed dates with Miss World Zimbabwe. We saw it fit to give way for Miss World Zimbabwe because we couldn’t have two pageants of such magnitude on the same day in different cities.”
Mpofu Sibanda said they allowed Miss World to go ahead in good faith.
“We agreed with the Miss Zimbabwe organisers that they hold theirs earlier and we do ours later. That wasn’t a bad decision at all,” she said.
Mpofu Sibanda revealed that next year’s edition would be hosted outside Bulawayo.
“I can’t promise or guarantee that the next pageant will come back to Bulawayo. We want to make this a national pageant by taking it across the country and expose and unveil the beauty of the country to other cities,” she said.
“This was the first edition for Fingers Academy and we promise a bigger and better ceremony next year. This was more like a learning curve for us and we managed to give fans and the models the best.”