The curtains will today roll down on the Vodacom Miss Tanzania beauty contest finals, which will be held at the ultra modern Mlimani City Hall, Dar es Salaam.
Out of the hundreds girls who started off in the preliminaries four months ago, only 30 will today parade in front of the bench of judges as they battle for the crown of ‘the most beautiful woman in the United Republic’.
The epic show comes after four weeks of grueling training and rehearsal exercise under the tutelage of reigning beauty queen Genevieve Mpangala at the Vodacom House in Dar es Salaam.
The month saw the girls undergo an overhauled training system that has taken a reality TV show shape.
During this time viewers were afforded the opportunity to acquaint themselves with beauties as they went through their daily chores.
Given this new orientation which required viewers to vote it won’t be surprising that viewers have already made their choices for whom they want to be crowned queen come Saturday night.
And as a matter of fact they are spoilt for choice as all deserve that top spot given the qualities they have exhibited so far.
However, as the belles parade today evening for a chance of a lifetime, five have already qualified with special honours after winning in various fast track events.
The fast track winners were awarded the Top Model, Miss Talent, Miss Photogenic, Miss Personality and Top Sports Woman titles.
The lucky ones so far are Mwajabu Juma who won the Top Model, Alexia Willims the Miss Personality, Loveness Flaviana the Sports Woman, Tracy Sospeter who was named Miss Photogenic and Rose Hubert who completed the list when she was named Miss Talent.
The winner of the coveted national crown shall join other beauties on from the rest of the world on November 6, to contest for the Miss World Prize at the 61st edition at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
Given Tanzania’s dismal performance in the past the organisers have promised that their aim this time round is to get a contestant who can emulate Nancy Sumari’s 2005 feat.
As many pundits have echoed that it is a contest that will go down to the wire, it will be up to Dar es Salaam, a region that has produced many queens in the last 15 years, to lose or retain the title.
In the bid for glory Dar weighs in with Husna Twalib, Cynthia Kimasha and Mwajab Juma from Temeke Zone, Grace Titus and Weirungu David from the Open University.
Others are Glory Lory and Blessing Ngowi from Higher Learning, Stella Mbuge, Husna Maulid and Hamisa Hussein from Kinondoni Zone and Salha Israel, Alexia Willims and Jenifer Kakolaki from Ilala.
Chiaru Masonobo, Zerulia Manoko, Maua Kimambo, Dalilah Ghalib, and Christine Mwenegoha represent Central Region and Christine William, Atu Daniel and Leyla Juma represent the Southern highlands.
Zubeda Seif, Stacey Alfred and Rose Hubert represent the Northern Zone and Loveness Flavian, Asha Salehe and Mariaclara Mathayo hail from the Eastern Zone, while Tracy Sospeter, Irene Karugaba and Glory Samwel are from the Lake Zone.
However, unlike last year when Genevieve Mpangala broke Mwanza’s two year dominance in the competition, won only a car and other prizes worth a decimal Sh22 million, this year the winds of fortune have brought something better.
After the sharp fall in the winner’s prize by almost four fold, organisers announced early on this week that this year’s winner will drive home a Sh72 million Jeep Patriot courtesy of CFAO motors.
The four wheel drive beats any other grand prize that beauty queen have won since the inception of the contest in 1994, Mariam Gerald’s Suzuki Grand Vitara worth Sh53.2million and Sylivia Bahame’s 2003 Nissan Hardbody being the closest competitors.
Apart from the whooping Sh72 million car the winner will also walk home with Sh8 million in cash.
The first runner-up will settle for Sh6.2 million while the second runner-up will take home sh4 million. The fourth and fifth winners will be awarded Sh3million and Sh2.4 million respectively.
For their efforts the sixth to 16th will be awarded sh1.2 million each while the 17th to 30th will take home a consolation prize of Sh700, 000 each.
The cash prizes bring the grand total of the money to be spent on prizes alone to approximately Sh120 million.
The men and women charged with the job have a tall order and have already been through the pre-contest judging at the House and other selected places.
The rich bench include experienced hands at the job such as C. Magori , John Njoroge, Bernard Mrunya and Martin Ngadada.
Others on the bench include J. Diaz, Miss Tanzania Committee chairman Prashant Patel, Vicky Lukindo and US-based Tanzanian model Cynthia Masasi.
Their decision aided with the votes cast by viewers will be of paramount importance given the fact that the international contest is only six weeks away.
Tanzania first got its beauty queen in 1994 when Anna Maeda won the crown. She was then followed by Emily Adolph in 1995 before Soshe Sinare did it the following year.
Then Saida Kessy from Arusha broke the Dar dominance in 1997when she swept the crown which was then known as Aspen Miss Tanzania at an emotional event held at Diamond Jubilee Hall.
Basila Mwanukuzi from Kinondoni won the pageant in 1998, followed by Ilala’s Hoyce Temu and Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
Dar es Salaam continued to dominate the pageant in 2001 through Temeke’s Happiness Millen Magese who won the pageant and followed by Angela Damas in 2002.
Temeke was in the thick of things again in 2003 through Sylvia Bahame and later Kinondoni dominated the pageant through Faraja Kotta, Nancy Sumari, Wema Sepetu and Richa Adhia in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Before the reigning queen Genevieve Mpangala whose term comes to an end today Mwanza had take a two-year winning streak with Nasrin Karim and Miriam Gerald winning in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
She came in at a time when the industry was riddled with scandals and though many were quick to include her in the same band wagon, she went on to prove herself.
She has with time won herself many admirers as she the daughter of former sportsman Emmanuel Mpangala went on to lead a spotless life during her tenure.
She follows in the footsteps of beauty queens who have carried themselves with the deserved modesty.
However this doesn’t rule out the fact that there have been some wild cats among the pigeons too.
Wema Sepetu who won the crown in 2006 has been in and out of the cold prison cells for a couple of times, this is not to mention all the wrong headlines she has hit in the tabloids.
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