HARARE - Twenty-two-year-old Cynthia Mafume bagged the Black Opal Face of Zimbabwe (Bofoz) title at a glamorous event held on Saturday night at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
The University of Zimbabwe pharmacy student beat 14 other contestants who were also vying to be the face of the leading cosmetics brand.
Hazel Kurwakumire, 29, was the first princess while the second princess position went to Mercy Kamanura, 24.
Mafume could not hide her joy after winning the highly-coveted title.
“I am grateful for this opportunity that Black Opal has given to us women. I would also like to thank my family, friends and all the people who have been supporting me from day one,” she said.
For landing the big prize, Mafume walked away with $8 000 and a year’s full supply of Black Opal skincare and cosmetics products and a trip to New York.
Second-placed Kurwaumire got$4 000 and six months’ supply of Black Opal skincare and cosmetics products while Kamanura received $2 000 and three months’ supply of Black Opal skincare and cosmetics products.
Tatenda Mutseyekwa, the director of Yolana Investments that owns the Black Opal licence in Zimbabwe, said the event had surpassed expectations.
“When we started, we did not have any intention of making it a pageant. The support that we have received from people is amazing and overwhelming.
“The pageant is bringing together all women from around Zimbabwe and empowering them to step into the spotlight so that they can realise their dreams. This pageant embraces women in their different shapes and sizes.
“We will have a local face alongside the likes of Halle Berry and other Hollywood celebrities on our products.
“This shows that the sky is the limit and it can be done,” he said.
Mutseyekwa said the fact that a female Bulawayo pastor took part in the competition last year with the support of her family, church members demonstrates the inclusivity of the pageant.
Last year’s winner Tendai Farai revealed that the $8 000 she won empowered her to venture into her dream of opening a lingerie business for plus-size women.
“I got to travel a lot to Asia, in particular China to get educated on how they make lingerie. Black Opal gave me a chance to realise my dream and I learnt a lot,” she said.
On Saturday night HICC was a picture of splendour.
The show attendees were elegantly dressed with outfits and shoes to die for.
Spectacular performances by musicians Shinsoman and Jah Prayzah made the giant HICC one big dance floor
Shinso belted out his famous tunes including Mama Devante, Mawaya-waya, Ndakupenga and many others.
The massive crowd support the self-styled dancehall father got clearly dwarfed the reception accorded to Stunner and BaShupi. The I love You Mama singer showed that he is indeed one of the most talented Zimdancehall performers.
Shinsoman was replaced on stage by man-of-the-moment Jah Prayzah whose performance of hits off his latest album Jerusarema sent the crowd into frenzy.
Even though the bulk of Jah Prayzah’s playlist was from his recently released latest album, the crowd still sang along with him which appeared to encourage Musoja, as Jah Prayzah is popularly known, to come up with super-charged dance moves.