Miss UZ 2024: Here’s what we know so far

Miss UZ 2024 is here; arguably the biggest event on campus – and here’s what we know so far about it.

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The search is on at the country’s largest university, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), for the Queen who will succeed Karen Katsande as Miss UZ.

The 2024 edition of Miss UZ is brought to you, as always, by the University of Zimbabwe’s Rotaract Club. This is the fifteenth edition of Miss UZ organised by the Rotaract Club.

For this year’s edition, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has been actively involved in the preparations thus far; together with Sankara Modeling Agency, who are providing their expertise and recommendations in the planning and development phases of the pageant.

The theme for Miss UZ 2024 is ‘Radiant Reflections: Shaping tomorrow through today’s actions’, a call to the girl child at the University of Zimbabwe to recognise the future impact of their daily, minute decisions during their time on campus.

The pageant is arguably the most anticipated event on the university’s calendar – a culmination of beauty and brains, the pomp and fanfare of the red carpet; and unforgettable performances from some of Zimbabwe’s best artists.

Arduous Auditions

The journey started with an audition call flighted on 25 March that gave any current UZ student the chance to become the Queen of the campus. On Saturday 6 April, a surely prepared bevy of beauties gathered at the Students Union Building hoping to make it to the 25 final contestants.

Image: Nopagraphy

Speaking to Mcheno And More at the auditions, Rotaract Club president Tadiwanashe Dzokoto was excited for the start of the journey, but also cognisant of the pressure to deliver a well-polished pageant.

“Miss UZ is bigger than me, it is bigger than Rotaract or anyone. As such, it deserves that much effort to impress, and because of the need to have a quality pageant, we ought to face pressure from all angles. That has already made us not to tire or relax,” said the Year 3 Pharmacy student.

The hopefuls were scrutinised by a panel of five judges comprising of Miss UZ 2023 Karen Katsande, Trizer Khan, Rotaract Club Vice President Ashley Liyaniya Tembo, Tashinga Musara, and Walter Mudede of Sankara Modelling Agency. The experienced panel were selecting from a pool of untested contestants, and so they were mostly looking out for “beauty, confidence and passion,” according to Walter Mudede.

Amongst the crowd of aspirants was Tanyaradzwa Chiroto, a Year 2 student who is also a budding social media influencer. We caught up with her as she had just finished her audition, and speaking about her experience, she said she was “really nervous” because she had never partook in this before. “I think it went well,” she added.

Tanyaradzwa Chiroto [Image: Nopagraphy]

Having already garnered some degree of fame online, with her participation at Miss UZ 2024; Chiroto aspires for impact beyond just the adulation.

“I want to be a role model, not just a pageant model or an influencer; someone that other girls can look up to on a daily basis,” she said.

We also spoke to a confident Ruvimbo Njomboro who recently got signed to Karin Coric’s agency Top Model Zimbabwe. Although more suited for the cover shoots and centrepieces, Njomboro decided to try for Miss UZ as a way to expand her skill-set.

Image: Nopagraphy

“I felt like there’s a missing piece that Miss UZ needs; a different piece that has never been experienced before and I am that piece,” she said, her enthusiasm clearly evident.

Another contestant, a towering Fadzai Mhizha, was feeling pretty confident of her chances of making the final list of contestants. For Mhizha, the auditions had been a long time coming, as she shared, “For the interview questions, I had been preparing myself for a week now. As for the platform, ever since I started learning at UZ last year”.

Image: Nopagraphy

The hustle and bustle of the first audition ended up warranting a second audition on the 9th of April, as President Dzokoto explained, “We went further with a second audition, not because we couldn’t select from one audition; but because we didn’t want to leave anyone behind. Miss UZ is for the students, everyone deserves such an opportunity.”

We reconvened with Walter Mudede after the auditions, who seemed overly impressed by the talent he witnessed over the two days.

“The audition process was interesting to say the least. The aspirants came prepared and definitely knew and executed their assignments to levels that left us shaken with sheer anticipation of what’s to come.”

Surely, selecting the twenty-five final contestants was going to be a tall order. Or was it?

Image: Nopagraphy

The 25 final contestants

On Wednesday the 10th, the Rotaract club announced the list of final contestants for this year’s edition of Miss UZ.

The panelists did well to select a diverse and inclusive cohort of contestants, given that almost no two contestants amongst those who proceeded to the Top 25 share the same programme.

Judges panel from left: Ashley Liyaniya Dube, Karen Katsande, Walter Mudede, Tashinga Musara, and Trizer Khan [Image: Nopagraphy]

The contestants will undergo rigorous training facilitated by Sankara Modelling Agency, after which a contingent of fifteen finalists will be selected to participate on the big night.

The 25 lucky ladies are as follows:

Modesta Hwingiri; Ntombizodwa Dube; Tinotenda Mandova; Sasha Nyakocha; Whitney Tina Mukocha; Mufaro Chikazunga; Tariro Mubango; Ashley Shumbanhete; Ruvimbo Njomboro; Patience Bhumure; Hazel Chikukwa; Millicent Chigede; Kelly Chafa; Chengeto Kanyayi; Destiny Chikerema; Trish Kamuzonde; Fadzai Mhizha; Anesu Captain; Dorcas Sajeni; Tanyaradzwa Chiroto; Kimberly Gwanzura; Ketra Masamvu; Simone Bota; Sharmaine Chirwa; Nicole Tanyanyiwa.

When is the big night, you might ask? Well, mark your calendars, on 1 June we’ll have a new Miss UZ.

Stay tuned to Mcheno And More, the official media partner for Miss UZ 2024, where we’ll be providing you with dedicated coverage of the pageant – from the preparations right up to the big night.

Expect activity updates, contestant profiles, and even some juicy rumours as we edge closer to the big night.

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