Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Correspondent
ON 18 November, beauties from almost every corner of the globe will converge on the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China where this year’s Miss World will be crowned.
The journey to the Miss World podium is a pilgrimage that only a lucky few have been privileged to make, with many pretenders to the throne falling by the wayside before they have even conquered their own land.
Also making the journey to join some of the world’s most beautiful women will be Zimbabwe’s Chiedza Lorraine Mhosva. A social media publicity blitz this week announced that the beauty queen was now ready to dazzle and take on the world the best that the world could throw at her.
After her beauty was questioned following her triumph at a glitzy ceremony back in July, the 23-year-old has not hogged the limelight, enjoying an incident free build up to what is expected to be a special night in China a month from now.
While her victory in the country’s top pageant guaranteed that history will never forget her name, the young actress and model might find that her name is not as familiar to the ordinary Zimbabwean on the street.
A roll call of the most famous women to ever rest the Miss Zimbabwe crown on their heads reveals some of the country’s most respected and popular beauty queens. Names like Brita Maselethuluni, Caroline Marufu and Lorraine Maphala roll off the tongue with ease, years after they took the top prize in the country’s most treasured pageant. However, one could argue that if the recent winners were put in a line, many Zimbabweans would struggle to identify any of them. The names that are remembered are those weeded before they could represent their country. The likes of Emily Kachote are still remembered mostly for the controversy and drama that they brought to the crown, with the leak of nude pictures seeing a few queens losing their crowns before they could share the same runaway with counterparts from around the globe.
While Mhosva, like other candidates from around the world, has begun canvassing for votes on social media, it remains to be seen who will vote for her in a country that seems to be in the dark about the face of its representative at the annual global display of beauty.
Sarah Mpofu, the godmother of some of the most memorable beauty queens, agrees with the sentiment that most of the country had simply not warmed up to the current Miss Zim two months into her reign.
“I think this may be because the organisers want to lay low after the controversies of the last few years. They may feel it is too soon for them to raise their heads again and so she’s being kept under wraps. No one can really blame them for taking that decision after all that has gone on in the last few years,” she said.
While the beauty queen has taken up a few charity causes, she largely remains a stranger to the rest of the country. This, some have felt, may have contributed to her anonymity in the rest to Zimbabwe.
Mpofu said although the organisers were justified in keeping their crown jewel under lock and key as they attempted to shelter her from drama, that method might be the opposite of what the doctor ordered for the troubled Miss Zim throne.
“Perhaps they should’ve taken her around the country. Let her meet the people and do charity work because she can’t stay hidden forever. In my opinion, they needed to rebrand and give Miss Zim a facelift. It’s a brand that can’t be hidden forever,” she said.
Miss Zimbabwe Trust’s spokesperson, Tendai Chirau, was not available to comment about Mhosva’s road to the finals or when she will be leaving for China.
However, as the clock ticks towards that glamorous day in Sanya, many will be wondering whether the Miss Zim crown still possesses its glamour and glitter of old.