By Michael Gwarisa
DISGRACED Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finalist Chiedza Chinake, who missed the crown by a whisker after she was almost crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe at the just ended Miss Zimbabwe 2016 finals following a communication glitch between judges and the beauty queens says she is still recovering from the traumatic experience which severely wounded her ego.
In an exclusive interview, the 23 year old model said she was contemplating taking a break from the modelling business as she intends to focus on her carrier as a Social Worker away from the public eye.
“At the moment I think I will stop and venture into other things, I am not much of a model but what inspired me was the theme of the beauty contests which focused on empowering the girl child. As a social worker myself, empowering the girl child is something that I am passionate about and I thought this was an opportunity for me to open doors for my carrier,” said Chiedza.
She added that poor communication between the judges and the models was the major reason behind her walk of shame and castigated the judges for failing to communicate clearly with girls of the changes that had obtained.
“Initially during rehearsals, it was transparent; we had rehearsed on how we were going to stand and how the numbers were going to shift according to where we were standing. On that night I was actually contestant number one because I was the first person to answer the questions from the judges.
“I was gutted, I was emotionally traumatised because from where I was standing, the Judges actually left me walking towards the chair (Throne), if they had told me earlier that they had riveted to the old system, I wouldn’t have walked embarrassing myself in front of the whole nation. And also the fact that no one actually bothered to come and explain to me what had transpired; they left me weeping backstage without attending to me as if everything was normal.”
On the night of the finals, the judges had initially announced the top seven finalists before making a U-turn and adding one more contestant Kudakwashe Chibaiwa to make it a top eight contest. During the question and answer segment, the host Tich Mawoni and Rebecca Muchenje told the top eight that their contestant numbers would cease to matter as they would be numbered according to how they were lining up on stage and in front of the judges, that is to say the new numbers were now one to eight.
Before the question segment, eventual winner Ashley Morgan had tag number one and Chiedza Chinake had tag number 12. Using the revised number method, Chiedza Chinake had assumed the number one position. As the MCs announced the winner, they called out number one as the winner rightfully meaning Chiedza was the number one according to the new order.
“I don’t know where the confusion came in because they then told me that they were still using the same number system but then during rehearsal, they told us we were going to change our numbers according to our standing positions and then the next thing they told me that the judges were still uses the old system, I was very confused, I didn’t understand because as judges I felt that they should have known that things have changed.
“So I am still confused; I still don’t know what happened on that night, and I am still waiting to hear from Miss Tourism Trust because they said we were going to have a meeting with me, so I hoping they will clarify things because right now I am still speculating. I believe the organisers of that event owe me an apology because they made me look like I was the one who was confused,” said Chinake.
She added that she had no hard feelings towards the winner Ashley Morgan and wished her the best in her tenure as Miss Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Spokesperson Alson Darikayi blamed the two MCs Tich and Rebecca whom he said were the architects of the confusion as they announced the number changes without consulting with the organisers.
“There was no confusion my brother, the MCs I don’t know where they got that but everything was in order. Ashely Morgan is the rightful winner and you can check with our auditors they can avail those results.
“It wasn’t the judges but just a miscommunication between the MCs and the models,” said Darikayi.