Nineteen-year-old Thelma Rutsinga was last Friday night crowned the inaugural Miss Valentine Beitbridge at a contest held at Pagomba Cafe.
Rutsinga, who is a student in Chiredzi, scooped the crown after shrugging off stiff challenge from seven other contestants.
Rejoice Sibanda (20) of Bulawayo was crowned First Princess and Thokozani Ndirande (19) from Beitbridge became Second Princess.
The queen won US$250 cash and hampers. First and second princesses got U$180 and US$120 respectively.
They also got hampers. The rest of the contestants got consolation hampers. The pageant was held courtesy of Pagomba Café Entertainment.
Rutsinga proved to be the crowd’s favourite from the onset, though she had to work very hard to beat Sibanda, who was a close contender for the crown. In an interview the queen of catwalk said she was excited that her determination and persistence had paid dividends.
“I started modelling in primary school and I am happy that through determination I have managed to win this pageant though the competition was tough.
“All the contestants were equally good and went down fighting until the last round,” she said.
Rutsinga said she will during her reign as Miss Valentine Beitbridge work very hard in initiating projects that seek to empower both the girl child and women in the district.
Pagomba General Manager Lovemore Chonzi described the pageant as a great success, adding that they were working towards making the contest an annual event.
“We had a full house and everything went according to plan. We want to thank various stakeholders who made this great day a success, especially Gogo Chigwinya, for the décor.
“We are the nucleus of the entertainment in Beitbridge and we have a number of family fun programmes lined up at the same venue this year,” he said. He said they will be having a pool tournament at the same venue later in the week. Harare-based dancehall artists Soul Jah Love and Bounty Lisa added colour to the event with a well-choreographed act.
They kept the revellers on their feet throughout the night when they belted out songs like “Coming Lion”, “Gum-Kum”, “Zvandomudira” and “Wandipengesa”. Elsewhere across the town the newly opened Rainbow Beitbridge Hotel held one of the best dinner dances in town which was graced by several businessmen and community leaders from the border town. - Pamusana