BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
STRIDES Modelling Agency founder and veteran modelling instructor Sipho Mazibuko tonight relaunches the once popular Miss Rural pageant after a 14-year sabbatical at Lavinia Gardens in Waterford, Bulawayo.
The national search launch of the pageant is open to young ladies between 17 and 24 years who have never given birth and have never been married.
At the event, Mazibuko also launches the Mr Rural pageant.
Mazibuko told NewsDay Life & Style that she has done her homework to make the pageant a better show than it was previously.
“We are relaunching the pageant and it’s going to be bigger than ever. People should expect to see fireworks, as Zimbabwean culture walks on the ramp,” she said.
“We are not looking for females from growth points, they must be in a proper rural set up. We want someone who goes to fetch firewood, cooks on fire and goes to the fields. We therefore look for those with a pure rural background.”
Mazibuko said they are going to reach out to all the chiefs around the country and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Offices so that the message for the rural queen search spreads.
“Can the rural community accept us as we move in to search for that elusive diamond that is going to be crowned Miss Rural Zimbabwe? We don’t know where she will come from, but all we know is, that girl is there right now,” she said.
“Interested contenders can also get in touch with us on my Facebook Page Siphongazo Mazibuko, Lavinia Gardens Page, and Strides Models Page or through the media.”
She said her organisation will empower queens from district to national level with skills and funds to run their respective projects.
“At Miss Rural Zimbabwe we will empower them with knowledge and fund their respective projects. We don’t want our beautiful queens to just wear crowns. We are not like other pageants where models are promised cash and cars,” she said.
“As we go to the national finals, I expect to get them funding for boreholes. I want the queens to have solar powered boreholes at their homes. We are getting them water sources so that they don’t spend a lot of time going to the river fetching the precious liquid.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Mazibuko is expected to host the Miss Summer Strides finals where a bevy of 20 models would battle for the crown at the pageant themed Stay Safe! Stay Alive! The new normal!
The Miss Summer Strides to be held at Lavinia Gardens in Waterford, Bulawayo returned to showbiz last year after a 13-year break.