Miss Carnival scoops $20 000, Merc

HARARE - Dananai Chipunza outperformed other contestants from across the country to capture the inaugural Miss Carnival 2013 crown in Harare on Friday night.

Screams and cheers deafened the Harare International Conference Centre when her name was called, a feat many predicted from the word go. Chipunza, 21, walked away with prizes worth $78,000, including $20,000 cash, a Merc and a hamper.

She will be the country’s flag bearer at the Miss Tourism World finals.

Thabiso Phiri, 21, won the first runner-up position and pocketed $10,000 cash and will be Zimbabwe’s representative at the Miss Heritage World finals.

Before hundreds of onlookers, the bevy of beauties competed fiercely for the coveted title and all performed very well although some failed to answer simple questions.

Celebrity judges including Book Café founder Paul Brickhill, fashionista Joyce Chimanye, supermodels Connie Moyo, former Miss Zimbabwe title holders Brita Masalethulini and Malaika Mushandu and poet Albert Nyathi, had their eyes on Chipunza as she took the title for the night.

The inaugural pageant was held as part of Zimbabwe international carnival celebrations.

Plumes, beads, and an array of bright colours flooded the stage as the women paraded in their carnival costumes.
 
Organisers of the pageant say some of its objectives include fostering greater linkages and bonds between Zimbabwe and other countries, promoting tourism and encouraging contestants, chaperones and patrons to showcase the beauty and diversity of Zimbabwean women.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi was guest of honour while TV presenters Ellen Chiyindiko and Jefferson Muserera were the masters of ceremony.

Winky D and Suluman Chimbetu brought the house down during their sets and the pageant had a good crowd who seemed to enjoy the production and cheered on their favourite contestants and musicians.

But it was the carnival dancers who mesmerised the crowd with their amazing choreography.

Yesterday there was a gospel show at Glamis Arena featuring  Baba na Mai Charamba, Mudiwa and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave.

The carnival continues. - Entertainment Writer

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