Zambian community crowns the cream of the crop

JOHN HARVEY

A rousing display by a Xhosa dance troupe, traditional music and animated MCs all combined to make the inaugural Miss Zambia Cape Town an affair to remember at the Claremont civic hall last week (“Miss Zambia Cape Town to be held in Claremont”, Tatler, March 31).

The event, which saw seven beauties from the African nation vying for the coveted title on Friday night, was attended by the cream of Cape Town’s Zambian community as well as members of the city’s Malawian residents.

While dancers entertained in the early part of the evening, proceedings became so festive that audience members were soon on their feet participating in unsche-duled “dance-offs” and runway competitions.

The event itself saw the Miss Zambia contestants competing in four categories: swimwear, casual wear, cocktail wear and traditional wear. They also underwent a round of questioning from the judges.

Judge and vice-chair of the Zambian Association of Cape Town, Deborah Maria Mwala, said the event represented the perfect opportunity to promote togetherness and unity among the people of Cape Town.

“It is a fact that Zambians are there for each other in times of joy, as we have seen here tonight, and in times of difficulty, and we want to celebrate that and show people this part of our culture,” she said.

Zambian MC Robert Sakanyi and his South African counterpart, Zilungile Mgqibi, provided many laughs throughout the evening, particularly when it came to the pronouncement of each nation’s names.

Eventually it came to the business end of the evening, where the models took to the red carpet runway amid tremendous cheers from the audience.

Displaying elegance and poise, it immediately became clear that judges Ms Mwala, Mercy Mumba and Ranel Kalwisha would have a difficult decision to make.

Ultimately, it was the vivacious Elizabeth Phiri who walked away with the title, with Harriet Chishimba named first princess and Philis Buta second princess.

Winners were awarded prize money totalling thousands of rands as well as dinner and shopping vouchers from the V&A Waterfront.

Event organiser Sylvia Sula said she was pleased with the inaugural event. “I thought it was very successful. We have definitely laid a very good foundation for Miss Zambia Cape Town.

“We found the turnout to be very good, and it has now created a lot of interest in the community,” she said.

“At the end of this month we will also be utilising our winners to do outreach in the townships, to create more awareness about Zambia’s Cape Town community.”