MISS Big pageant, the brain-child of Bulawayo socialite, Lwazi Mbowa, is expanding its tentacles into the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) as it seeks regional appeal for a beauty contest targeting big-bodied women.
Mbowa founded the pageant — initially known as Miss Big Matofotofo — in 2005, but has grown to include two other Sadc countries, Zambia and Malawi after branding. The pageant targets women who wear size 40 and above, between the ages of 18 and 35.
On Monday, Mbowa left the country for Blantyre in preparation for Miss Big Malawi 2013 to be held at the former capital city later this year.
From Malawi she is scheduled to visit Lusaka, Zambia, for the launch of Miss Big Zambia.
“This year we will conduct the pageant in Blantyre and we are looking forward to a brilliant and powerful event as members of the corporate world have offered to support it,” Mbowa told Southern Eye Lifestyle before she left for Malawi.
Mbowa revealed that she had been inundated with calls from the Zambian community pleading with her to bring the pageant to that country.
“Last year we did all the relevant modalities with Zambian models and sponsors. All that is left is for me to go and set the date with the organising committee and launch the pageant,” Mbowa added.
Since the pageant was rebranded last year, its organiser said she had been looking for “a true and decent African queen to do away with the comic way in which people viewed the pageant”.
Last year Bulawayo teacher-cum-poet, Sithandazile Dube, was crowned Miss Big Zimbabwe.
She performed at the official launch of Southern Eye on June 3.