HARARE – Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) 2017 will take place on December 9 in Harare.
MTZ patron Barbara Mzembi told journalists at a press conference held at a Harare hotel on Saturday that 15 girls will be in the running to replace reigning queen Ashley Morgan.
“Starting next month applications will be accessible on our Facebook and MTZ website before auditions that will screen 15 models to compete in the finals on December 9,” the MTZ patron said, adding that the selected finalists will have 25 days to prepare for the finals.
“Come November, successful contestants will be booked into camp where they will be groomed and educated about the basics of modelling before our fundraising dinner on December 8.”
Bigtime Strategic Group, the main sponsor of the pageant, has been retained. Justice Maphosa, the director of the South Africa-headquartered company, who also attended the press conference, could not be drawn into revealing the winning prize for this year’s edition.
“This is not about prize-giving, we are not betting horses. We promise to do what is best for the girl child since it is not about the money but the opportunities that they will get.
“This is an initiative aimed at raising awareness for the girl child to empower them especially at a time when a lot is being said about women and children,” Maphosa said.
At the MTZ 2016, Morgan, pocketed $20 000 made available by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
She also won a trip to the United States of America and a hamper of “I love New York” brand of cosmetics.
Before the first lady’s intervention, Morgan was set to walk away with $5 000.
First princess Nonhlanhla Dube won $10 000 and a holiday trip to China with second princess Shirley-Ann Lindsay pocketing $5 000.
All contestants who made it into the top 10 received $10 000 each while all the girls who took part in the finals got a $1 000 participation fee.
Meanwhile, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who also graced the weekend press conference, has urged local pageants to help boost domestic tourism.
“I am happy to hear that major pageants in this country are speaking to each other and we hope that they will focus on domestic tourism.
“We want to produce champions of zero tolerance to littering and violence that market products like the Eastern Highlands, Great Zimbabwe the revival of Kariba Dam.