After taking a sabbatical for 14 years, celebrated pageant Miss Rural Zimbabwe, a brainchild of Bulawayo model instructor Sipho Mazibuko has finally returned.
The grand announcement was made at a colourful traditionally themed event held at Lavinia Gardens on 11 September.
Delegates from the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the Minister of State for Bulawayo, graced the event.
To spice up the contest, Mr Rural Zimbabwe will also be showcased for the first time at an event slated for November.
The main reason is to give males from the rural communities a chance to also realise their dreams.
Mazibuko said she was happy that the government had endorsed her to resurrect a pageant that is going to change the lives of many.
So far, a model from Matopo by the name of Mntwanenkosi Dube was discovered and she was unveiled as the Face of Miss Rural Zimbabwe.
“I am happy to announce that Miss Rural Zimbabwe has returned. To spice things up, we also decided to do a male contest under the name Mr Rural Zimbabwe.
“The government of Zimbabwe has played a crucial role in holding our hand and lift us up and making it possible for the re-birth of our beautiful contests.
“This is a platform that will help rural girls and boys that are sidelined as they are not given enough chance to take centre stage and showcase their talent,” said Mazibuko.
This year’s event is said to be bigger than the previous editions and Mazibuko has called upon young fashion and accessories designers to come on board.
“I urge young fashion designers to come and collaborate with us on providing designs and accessories because this is a chance that will also give them much exposure.
“We are looking forward to utilizing the national fabric designs (national dress) to inspire our designs on the ceremony.
“The national fabric plays a role of importance in preserving our national values, culture and heritage, and importantly unifies people from all walks of life,” said Mazibuko.
The search for models from different rural communities is under way.
So far, all the provinces have license holders qualifying to hold provincial rounds for the pageant, except for Mashonaland Central and East (applicants willing to hold licenses on these areas are welcome).
Miss Rural Zimbabwe was founded in 2003 as Miss Filabusi Strides.
In 2004, it moved on to Binga and Tsholotsho.
It rebranded to Miss Matabeleland in 2005.
The following year, it accommodated models from different rural communities dotted all over Zimbabwe and it affectionately became Miss Rural Zimbabwe.
The last catwalk of the pageant was in 2007 and Nyasha Phiri from Nembudziya, Gokwe North, was crowned as the Queen.
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