After taking a sabbatical for 13 years, local celebrated pageant Miss Summer Strides is finally bringing back the contest, thanks to veteran model instructor and founder of Strides, Sipho Mazibuko.
The contest which was first launched in 2003, returns with a new shape and fresh ideologies which Mazibuko mapped over the lockdown with the main agenda of pushing models onto international stages.
The collapse of the city’s pageants like Miss Bulawayo has inspired Mazibuko to bring back Miss Summer Strides, an initiative which she said would expose models’ talent and local fashion designers’ craft.
“When I created Miss Summer Strides in 2003, the main aim was to give an African girl child a chance to explore and realise her dreams. However, the pageant fell apart in 2007 as the economy nosedived and all sponsors withdrew from investing with us.
“Miss Summer Strides still carries the same vision but the relaunch is different in the sense that we have removed barriers in our business approach as we want to feed more to the international market,” said Mazibuko.
As part of the relaunch, Mazibuko revealed that she was still in good books with South Africa’s Heads Models, an agency she will be working closely with in pushing local models, not only into the South African market but also eyeing the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
“Strides has a long-standing relationship with Heads Models and we will be working closely with the agency in nurturing our models. We have successful stories of former winners who managed to learn a lot from Heads Models.
Their experiences inspire Strides to keep on doing more,” said Mazibuko.
Alexandra Sedgewick, Tamerin Jardine who went on to be Miss Earth South Africa and appeared on top 10 for Miss South Africa, Vuyolwethu Dlomo, Nqobile Siwela and Portia Ncube are some of the models who won Miss Summer Strides and clinched contracts with Heads Models.
Meanwhile, models are invited to register to be part of the 2020 edition of Miss Summer Strides with the casting of the models to be held on 1 November.
Casting fees are pegged at US$2 with models required to bring two pieces of swimsuits in any colour.
Semi-finals will be held on 14 November with finals set to be held on 28 November.