Report by Melissa Mpofu
The contest will be held ahead of the inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival which runs from May 21 to May 26 in Harare. Those interested in contesting should be between 18 and 24 years of age, at least 1,7m tall, should be Zimbabwean and never married or given birth.
They should have at least five “O” Level passes, a good command of English and should generally have knowledge of the country’s heritage and history.
Auditions have already been held in Mutare and Gweru with Bulawayo and Masvingo auditions being held today. The Harare auditions will be held on May 4. All the auditions are being held at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) provincial offices.
The auditions are being conducted by former models who are currently employed by ZTA including Rumbidzayi Mudzengerere, Avril Mhembere, Shuvai Murumbi, Tafadzwa Mugazambi and Chido Mushaya.
ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said the winner, will be crowned Zimbabwe International Carnival Queen will walk away with a vehicle and nothing less than $20 000 as part of her prizes.
“We have already secured a vehicle from our usual sponsor Philip Chiyangwa and I can assure you that the carnival queen will receive nothing less than $20 000 as one of her prizes. During her reign, she will also receive a monthly allowance of $1 000 which she will use to top up her fuel,” he said.
After being crowned, the queen will assume her roles during the carnival which include looking beautiful at events showing what Zimbabwe has to offer. She will also lead the carnival procession on May 25.
Meanwhile, preparations for the Zimbabwe International Carnival are at an advanced stage with over 100 groups registering to participate at the feté.
Jamaica’s Tarrus Riley is one of the international artistes who have been shortlisted to perform at the Zimbabwe International Carnival Reggae Night at the National Sports Stadium on May 21.
A music festival, which will be one of the highlights of the carnival after the street parade, will be held on May 25 at the National Sports Stadium.
Pole dancers Bev and Zoey have also been shortlisted as dancers who will join the Brazilians for the Samba Night which will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre on May 22. It will be a “No Under 18” event as there will be provocative outfits and dances.
Kaseke urged Zimbabweans to gear up for the carnival next month as it will be a period of public partying and festivities for a common purpose.
“Carnivals are all about merry-making and feasting. They have proven to be very popular and a unifying force among people. They provide a big marketing platform comparable to travel shows,” he said.
He added that he hoped the carnival would be an essential destination marketing platform where ZTA would sell, apart from tourism, Zimbabwe in its entirety so as to boost tourism in the country.