Twenty-three-year-old Zvishavane model Ashleigh Mutsata was recently crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Midlands 2018 after shrugging off the challenge of 12 other contestants at the provincial preliminaries of the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageant held at Cathedral Hall in Gweru.
Another 23-year-old, Agatha Kulingah of Gweru, was crowned first princess while Gokwe model Tubelike Ndhlovu (19) was the second princess.
The pageant — which was among a number of provincial showcases held to select models that will represent provinces at the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageant contest — was made possible by Gweru modelling guru Mavis Koslek. Koslek is the Midlands licence holder for the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe pageant and is the founder of Image Modelling Agency.
Koslek said this year’s pageant had attracted 22 models drawn from the length and breadth of Midlands province.
“Initially, the pageant consisted of 22 young women scouted from within Midlands province and we trimmed them to 13 finalists who contested in the provincial pageant,” she said.
Koslek said it was a close contest where participants displayed intimate wear and evening gowns followed by a question-and-answer session. The models also visited tourist spots in the province.
Mutsata is studying Development Studies at Midlands State University’s Zvishavane campus while Kulingah is in her final year at the same university where she is studying for a degree in Tourism and Hospitality at the Gweru campus.
Nineteen-year-old Ndhlovu is due to study Physiotherapy at the University of Zimbabwe starting in August this year.
Koslek said the provincial pageant set off by a private pre-judging system a week before the final where contestants met their judges on a one-on-one basis on content such as tourism, general knowledge, voice projection, beauty and intelligence.