Miss Tourism Zim raises the bar

HARARE - Stunning Ashley Morgan won the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageant which lit up Harare International Conference Centre on Friday night.

For winning arguably the classiest local pageant in recent memory, Ashley pocketed $20 000 made available by First Lady Grace Mugabe who was accompanied by her daughter Bona and son-in-law Simba Chikore.

According to Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016 winner was destined to walk away with just $5 000 if the first lady had not come on board on the day of the pageant.

Ashley also got a car while first princess Nonhlanhla Dube won $10 000 and a holiday trip to China with second princess Shirley-Ann Lindsay pocketing
$5 000.

The Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016 also won a trip to the United States of America and a hamper of “I love New York” brand of cosmetics.

All contestants who made it into the top 10 received $10 000 each with all contestants on the night getting a $1 000 participation fee.

Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016 really set the bar high and it is not surprising that it was graced by the glamorous Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein from Germany who is reported to be a close friend of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Most of the people who attended were dressed to kill for the red carpet, with ladies rocking evening gowns and men rocking tuxedos and suits.

Interestingly, Miss Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Marry Chiwenga, who failed to hold a pageant this year after reportedly failing to get the right girls, was the chief judge. Other judges were international model Jonathan Denga, Pamela Hakunavanhu and Cynthia Tapera.

Even though the pageant was for the most part faultless, it also had a few warts. There was a Steve Harvey moment when the winner was announced. (Last year American comedian, television host, producer, radio personality, actor, and author Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner at Miss Universe where he was the host.) Miss Tourism Zimbabwe patron Barbara Mzembi had to quickly intervene after the wrong person had been announced as the winner.

When the top seven was announced, the judges curiously decided to add another girl which attracted boos from the crowd. Some members of the crowd, who seemed to be at their comical best, labelled the added girl a “bond note”.

Ashley was understandably delighted to walk away with the prestigious title.

“I am just overjoyed by winning; I cannot believe it. My first initiative will be a pad campaign. Some girls cannot go to school because they cannot secure their dignity. I want to help them make their lives easier during that time of the month.

“This is not my first pageant. I did Miss Professional; I was Miss Nust in 2015. I was also at Miss Africa last year,” said the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016.
First princess Dube expressed delight to be judged second best on the night.

“I am very excited. I cannot wait to start my reign. I prayed and worked really hard for this pageant. To be honest this is my first pageant and it is a great feeling to win at this level,” she said.

Comments (1)

Congrats Ashley, Shine bright like a diamond.

Benjamin Mushipe - 8 December 2016

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