Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
Reigning Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) Tafadzwa Jaricha has resigned due to work commitments and has been replaced by her first princess Natalie Mangondo.
Mangondo will now represent the country at the Miss Tourism International pageant slated for Malaysia next month.
The local pageant’s licence holder Sarah Mpofu said Jaricha, a qualified lawyer, resigned after securing a job in South Africa.
“Due to some unforeseen circumstances inclusive of a hectic work and study schedule, our MTZ 2018 queen Tafadzwa Jaricha has written to our office asking to be excused as Queen. As such, our First Princess Natalie Chido Mangondo from Mashonaland East automatically becomes our new queen,” said Mpofu.
She said Mangondo is expected to leave the country for the world contest on October 21 where she will compete with over 80 beauties.
“Natalie will leave on October 21 for boot camp which starts the following day in Malaysia. I appreciate her positive response on taking up the role of MTZ queen.
“She’s a beautiful and intelligent young lady who raced very closely to the winner at the 2018 finals and I’ve no doubt she will do the country proud in her new position,” said Mpofu.
She thanked companies such as Tsholotsho Mlele Productions who bought Mangondo’s air ticket to Malaysia for their support.
“United Refineries Limited who have helped us immensely in the past couldn’t fulfill their pledge of providing a return ticket for the queen at the last hour. Our day was then saved by Mlele Productions, a Tsholotsho-based promotion company.
“They swiftly came to our rescue through one of our judges, Elvis Sibanda and Mr Clement Garura who bought a return ticket for the Miss Tourism International representative.”
Asked whether Mangondo is ready for the international pageant, Mpofu said she would be ready by the time she leaves as she is preparing hard.
On her part, Mangondo said: “I believe I’m prepared because I have the strongest support system. This includes Mrs Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda, one of the most knowledgeable people on pageantry in Zimbabwe.
“I’m so honoured and privileged to represent my country as well as Sub-Saharan Africa on a global stage as I’m the only contestant from this region.”
Mangondo added: “I hope to be a tourism ambassador for not only the popular attractions, but to promote lesser known ones from the Highveld to the flaming Msasa trees and lush mountains.”
Off modelling, the beauty who is studying Economics at the University of Cape Town said she wishes to become a leader in the country’s business industry.
“I wish to begin my career in management consulting and ultimately become a leader in Zimbabwe’s business industry with a focus on regional integration on the continent. Further, anything I do is in advancement of empowerment of the girl child.”