THE search for Miss World Zimbabwe (MWZ) beauty queen has opened a can of worms with some beauties at the three-day auditions at Miss Zimbabwe Trust’s (MZT) offices in Harare during the weekend making sensational claims of being forced to participate in pageants held in night clubs.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Modelling Association of Zimbabwe regulations stipulate that modelling agencies should not use nightclubs for pageants as that would make models prone to abuse.
Models who spoke to NewsDay during the auditions held from Thursday to Saturday last week accused some agencies of taking advantage of them.
“I was once threatened with deregistration by my agency for expressing myself when I told its founder that I could not participate at a pageant held at a local nightclub,” she said.
Another model claimed they were often forced to participate in modelling shows held in nightclubs because the agent is friends with some nightclub operators who wanted to boost the sale of liquors by using models as a drawcard to their bars.
“At one point I contemplated quitting modelling after being forced to participate at a pageant at a night club where I was subjected to abuse by drunken patrons,” she said.
Meanwhile the MWZ auditions that were open to aspirants aged between 18 and 25 years with a minimum height of 170cm, single and never been married or given birth, saw 22 beauties out of the 75 making it into the list of finalists.
The country’s flagship beauty contest is making a return after it was shelved last year, with the grand finale set for July 22 at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Course under the theme, Celebrating Beauty through the Eyes of Our Late Icon, Kiki Divaris.
MZT’s spokesperson Tendai Chirau yesterday told NewsDay that the response was overwhelming.
“As the (selection) committee, we were surprised by the numbers that turned up for the auditions. We had contestants from across the country and beyond our borders, with one coming from as far as Cape Town, South Africa,” he said.
He said the finalists would get into the boot camp this week where they will be joined by 12 other models who participated at Miss World Zimbabwe United States of America, Miss World Zimbabwe United Kingdom, Miss World Zimbabwe South Africa and Miss World Zimbabwe Canada.
He, however, said 18 models from the 34 will be dropped ahead of the grand finale. The ultimate winner will take over the crown from the incumbent, Annie-Grace Mutambu.