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All is set for the second edition of the Harare International Carnival that would include Miss Carnival pageant among other exciting events in the capital. Contestants of the pageant are expected to converge in Harare today and camp at the Rainbow Towers hotel, for close to two weeks.

A sashing ceremony for the contestants will be held on May 16 at Harare International Conference Centre.

The Miss Carnival pageant that is running under the theme “Celebrating the Beauty of Diversity”, will see young women aged between 18 and 25 years taking part.

During the camping period, the models will undergo grooming and tours for familiarisation with the country’s tourism products. An organising committee has been set up to consider the rules and key attributes that will be used to judge the winners in line with internationally recognised standards.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda, confirmed all the 22 contestants were expected in camp today. And to boost the models general knowledge, he said, they have organised a number of workshops to be held during the camp.

“We have arranged a number of activities for the models. Part of the training and grooming programme will include workshops on various topics and presentations from key speakers on business and tourism oriented issues,” said Chagonda.

He added that the pageant was being held in line with set international modelling standards.

“The winner of the pageant will represent Zimbabwe on the international arena, that is the reason we decided not to deviate from international standards,” he said.

“The models will get an opportunity to visit some of our top tourist attractions since the eventual winners will be the country’s ambassadors around the world. The visits will help them appreciate and understand Brand Zimbabwe,” added Chagonda.

The Miss Carnival pageant is a tradition and concept the ZTA has borrowed from all carnival hosting countries like Brazil, Seychelles and Nigeria. The queen will lead the proceedings of the carnival. Last year the pageant was won by Dananai Chipunza.

The organisers of the event said, the Carnival Queen will win a vehicle and walk away with prize money of US$20 000, while the first and second princesses will pocket US$10 000 and US$5 000 respectively.

Entertainment on the final day of the pageant will be provided by various local top acts supported by a visiting Trinidad and Tobago outfit, Exodus Steelband.

The entrance fee for the event has been pegged at US$5 for the rest of the auditorium, while VIP tickets will be sold at US$10.

Some of the events to look forward to at this year’s edition of the HIC slated for May 16 to 25 include, carnival jazz night, carnival gospel night, carnival samba night and carnival tourism night.

Source : The Herald