Auxilia Katongomara Entertainment Correspondent
THE organiser of the inaugural Miss Grand International Zimbabwe, Samantha Tshuma has disqualified the legitimate winner of the pageant, Fungai Mawada and nominated herself for the international pageant. Mawada was announced winner at a contest held in May outclassing 15 other finalists.
Tshuma, who is also former Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2010, said all the 16 models who participated in the show did not make the grade and she was the only one who had the “perfect qualities” for the pageant.
In a statement, public relations manager of the pageant, Chris Mhlanga tried to justify the imposition of Tshuma saying as licence holders of the Miss Grand Zimbabwe, their sole mandate was to select what they deemed the most suitable candidate in line with the Miss Grand International requirements.
He said after some preparations they were not happy with some of the girls that they chose.
Mhlanga said when they did a photo shoot “the results were unfortunately not the most favourable and therefore not satisfactory (as and according to Miss Grand Zimbabwe) none of the top five candidates fit the profile as per the published Miss Grand International manual description.”
He announced that Samantha would be representing the country at the pageant as they were chasing a deadline, which was 31 August.
“…we, as of the 31st of August 2013 have forwarded our Zimbabwean national representative as 23-year-old, Bulawayo-born chief executive officer of Models Beyond Grooming & Management Agency Samantha Ntombizodwa Tshuma,” he said.
The 22-year-old Mawada said she was shocked with the development given the fact that she was announced the Zimbabwean winner of the pageant and was supposed to represent the country.
“She has not communicated anything to me, I was shocked when people began calling me over the weekend querying why there were pictures of Samantha online as the country’s representative,” said the equally shocked model.
She said she was yet to get her prizes for being crowned winner.
“I will speak to my agent Amanda Mtangadura who will handle the issue on my behalf,” she said.
Veteran modelling instructor, Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda expressed shock at Tshuma’s decision.
“This is shocking, it’s unprofessional,” she said.
Another modelling guru said the practice was unethical and said it tarnished the image of pageant licence holders.
“As it stands, it’s like Samantha used models to raise funds for herself and exploited models for her own good.
“This paints a bad picture about us,” said a modelling instructor who requested anonymity.