MISS Tourism Zimbabwe finalists have promised to reflect a “positive” image of the country should anyone of the beauties win tomorrow’s finals at th
e Rainbow Towers.
Two of the 30 finalists, Michelle Makanza and Faith Matambanashe, told Independent Xtra on Tuesday during their familiarisation tour of Great Zimbabwe that they would fight to restore Zimbabwe’s battered image.
“Based on my resources,” said Makanza, “I would like to start a strategic marketing plan to take us higher on the world map than we are. Zimbabwe at the moment has a very poor image, and as a nation we need to reverse it.”
Makanza said Zimbabweans should not despair and should unite in the face of the current economic woes and pressure bedeviling them. “When I look at Zimbabwe I see a diamond. I say so because diamonds are strong and they are formed under immense pressure beneath the earth’s surface. Zimbabwe might be under pressure but soon we are going to stand on our own and prosper.”
Matambanashe, who is the reigning Miss Zimbabwe UK, echoed the same sentiments, saying she would do anything “to sell” a positive image of the country regionally and internationally as: “Tourism is the only way for us to get back onto the world map.”
Matambanashe said it was unfortunate and worrisome that inflation continues to soar maintaining that there is a silver lining at the end of the cloud for Zimbabwe. “There’s hope for Zimbabwe,” she said. “Things take time. All great things come from struggles.”
Zimbabwe has suffered isolation from the international community ever since it embarked on its controversial and chaotic land reform programme six years ago.
The thirty finalists from across Zimbabwe will battle it out to succeed out-going and inaugural Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Loraine Maphala.
Miss Tourism Zimbabwe is now being run under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
ZTA was first reported by Independent Xtra in November last year to have seized the Miss Zimbabwe pageant from the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, giving it yet another name this year calling it Miss Tourism Zimbabwe .