Melissa Mpofu/Bongani Ndlovu
FORMER Miss Zimbabwe queens have come out in support of newly crowned Miss World Zimbabwe, Emily Kachote who has been labelled ugly and is being attacked for failing to meet expectations of members of the public. The former beauty queens who have been on the Miss World ramp said fellow Zimbabweans needed to rally behind Kachote, rather than demean her.
Kachote, a 25-year-old financial advisor was crowned queen at the Mermaids Pool Resort in Shamva over the weekend with Ann-Grace Mutambu, 19, being crowned 1st princess and Chengetai Marcia Kanonhuwa, 18 ,being crowned 2nd princess. Kachote will represent Zimbabwe at the Miss World finale this year.
After she was announced as Miss World Zimbabwe, followers of the pageant wasted no time and took to social media networks to air their views with some saying the former Miss Harare was not suitable to represent the country at the Miss World contest. Some bluntly described her as ugly while others felt she was rather old for the contest.
Thabani Mathews Siziba posted: “Mubi usisi lowu (this girl is ugly) on Facebook” with another, Gladys Zingwina questioning her beauty.
“Kunaka kwacho kuri papi? Vakadii havo vakati vashaya winner zvaitove nani. (Where is her beauty, why didn’t they just say they couldn’t get a winner this year? It could have been better.)”
Another Facebook user, Jessica Jezzelica Jellyfish said other local pageants had produced better looking queens.
“You’ll find that in competitions like BOFoZ or Miss UZ, there’re better looking girls (no offence). Would you choose her over Rolene Strauss(Miss SA) or Ariadna Gutierrez (Miss Colombia) in all fairness? Before even going that far, would you pick her over Brita Masalethulini? Very very disappointing,” posted Jellyfish.
Memes have since been created comparing Kachote with South Africa’s Miss World representative, Liesl Laurie, 24. The image, which was created from one of Kachote’s Facebook pictures and one of Laurie’s professional images, is being circulated to demean the Zimbabwean beauty in contrast to the South African beauty.
Some have since concluded that Zimbabwe stands no chance of making a mark at the Miss World finals.
A disheartened Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2005, Oslie Muringai-Matsikenyeri said it was unfair for people to compare Kachote’s amateur picture with Laurie’s professional picture.
“I saw someone taking a picture of Emily from her personal Facebook profile and comparing it to a professionally done Miss South Africa picture. You’ll not find old pictures of Liesl Laurie on Facebook because they’ve edited her profile to manage her image.
“Sadly this doesn’t happen with our queen, so pictures like that get used against her,” said Muringai-Matsikenyeri.
She said there was nothing new with Kachote entering the pageant for the second time as Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, 23, from South Africa had entered Miss South Africa twice and won the crown the second time running.
The beauty who is now based in South Africa said it was sad that some people were criticising Kachote from an uninformed position.
“I’ve been reading the opinions on the new queen on social media networks. Most of them just show how misinformed some people are about pageantry.”
Miss Zimbabwe 2004, Lorraine Maphala-Phiri said she believed Kachote had what it takes to represent the country at the world pageant.
“Miss World isn’t only about outlook, it’s a whole package. In this case according to the Miss World Zimbabwe judges, Emily has most, if not all the qualities they were looking for,” Maphala-Phiri said.
She also said it was unfair for people to compare the national queen with the South African queen as they were two different people who are different in their own ways.
“I also agree with Oslie Muringai Matsikenyeri that comparing our queen with Miss South Africa isn’t fair. We should learn to support our own, especially where we think we’re lacking, instead of finding faults. How about looking for a solution?”
Miss Zimbabwe 2012 Bongani Dhlakama who contested with Kachote in 2012 said she was not surprised Kachote had come out tops.
“In 2012 when I was crowned Miss Zimbabwe, Emily was in the top five. She was one of the girls who I saw was my stiffest competition as she gave me a good run for my money. She’s intelligent and articulate,” said Dhlakama.
She said people needed to understand that Miss World Zimbabwe judges were looking at a whole host of things such as appearance, intelligence and other sociable attributes a model has, not just her outer beauty.
Dhlakama urged people to channel all their negative criticism into support for Kachote as she had been selected to represent them at the world contest.
Former Miss Bulawayo, Sibusisiwe Dube questioned which yardstick was being used to measure Zimbabwean beauty.
“What yardstick is being used to measure beauty in Zimbabwe, it’s unknown. Every year it’s the same song, she’s not beautiful, etc,” Dube said.
She said people needed to understand that fame comes with criticism adding that the hate speech against Emily was alarming.
“In the arts industry there’s hardly anyone that’s appreciated by the general public, be it music; acting etc, people will always criticise. Criticism is part of fame, but the hate speech against Emily is appalling, the hatred in most people’s hearts is alarming,” Dube said.