What a shame!

HARARE - The last minute cancellation of the Miss Heritage World pageant due to be held last Saturday has understandably sparked national outrage.

Organisers of the pageant, owe Zimbabwe explanations for shamelessly tainting the country’s name.

Zimbabwe won the right to host the global pageant in March but surprisingly from then until the startling cancellation on Saturday night, the organisers pretended as if all was under control.

One Tare Munzara in particular, who pompously prefers to be referred to as the executive chairperson of the global pageant, owes the country a billion apologies for not only fooling Zimbabweans but also many well-meaning beauty models who expected to sample legendary Zimbabwean hospitality.

For over eight months, Munzara and his cohorts filled acres of media space going to town over the multiple economic benefits that Miss Heritage World would unleash on Zimbabwe.

But how did Munzara and his team expect to host the pageant without the necessary resources in the first place?

More surprising, how could the Miss Heritage World organisers wait until the very last moment to cancel the event?

The writing was always on the wall that the pageant was doomed for failure but Zimbabwe chose to look the other way.

Initially, the pageant was supposed to have been held in August in Victoria Falls during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly but the organisers then postponed the event to November 29.

On both occasions, the reason for postponement had to do with lack of sponsorship.

But who authorises the holding of pageants, let alone international ones?

In Zimbabwe presently, it would appear that one just needs a simple registration with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NacZ) before holding a pageant.

A few months ago, former Bulawayo beauty queen Sipho Mazibuko urged NacZ to put in place more rigorous rules that will curtail mushrooming of pageants run by selfish chancers.

“I want to approach the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to revisit the way modelling agencies are run in Zimbabwe. I have noted with concern the mushrooming of modelling agencies countrywide which are run by people with no proper credentials,” said Mazibuko in an interview with the Daily News.

When the veteran model made the uncharitable remarks on Zimbabwe’s modelling industry, not many took her seriously.

But it is now clear that if we had taken heed of Mazibuko’s timely advice, maybe Zimbabwe could have avoided the embarrassing debacle that the Miss Heritage World pageant has sadly become.

Even if the pageant finally goes ahead tomorrow, the damage has already been done.

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