Four judges sit by the panel with anticipation of the night’s proceedings. A suit and tie affair that has brought in people from across the country awaits us all. The mood is chilled as people trickle into the venue by the dozens and media people are setting up and doing final sound checks. 3, 2, 1 and we’re on.
The camera focus is on Lorraine as she formally introduces the event and slowly draws back to get a panoramic view to capture the excitement in the room. Up and coming musicians, actors and models are mixing in with the established who are all here for a common goal in support of the girl child network worldwide. Face of the Globe Zim-UK 2013 has just begun their relationship with Zim-Link and Media 4 Youth. The search for the face to represent the land so distant from us all yet so full of wonders and sunshine is underway.
The clock strikes 2100hrs up and coming songstress Pearl Natasha opens with a 3 set performance that gets the crowd going which included a well-orchestrated cover of Zahara’s Loliwe, that edgy yet raw style is present in her performance as her confidence grew with each second she spent on stage.
With the crowd all worked up, we see the first of the contestants come out from behind the curtain, so voluptuous and fiery as she introduced herself “Hi I’m Sue…”. As my thoughts regained composure there’s no way in hell you would think was a single mom doing her thing. This alone was a prime example of why we were all involved in the project as the battle to change the social stigma of what a model should be soldiers on. The models kept on appearing from behind that wonderful curtain. Next was Bongani who introduced herself as a yummy mummy and with a name like that it is obvious from the on-set that her charm lays beneath that shyness in her eyes. Another one appears, the graceful Karen’s entrance seemed like poetry in motion and I’d be damned if she’s not going places because as soon as the opportunity arises she will definitely explode and should be one to lookout for.
As the night went on the excitement levels were evidently more energetic as Sicilia strutted her stuff on stage. Perhaps an early favourite was starting to emerge as the judges continued to scribble notes after every smile, turn or wave from the contestants as they continued to dazzle the crowd while on stage.
“It’s time for a brief recess,” Glorriane who was the MC for the night came at us to slow the excitement down a notch as we were showed the dining area. Waiting for us was a table well-presented thanks to the catering team at the Croydon Conference centre. I took time out to mingle with the guests among these were Girl Child Network’s Betty Makoni and Fikelephi Jackson the inspirational author with her latest book Against All Odds in hand. A short conversation with Blackamoor clothing CEO revealed he just like I had nothing but praise for the organisers. Their work is not only the beginning of a glamorous affair but work that will secure and improve the lives of so many in not only Zimbabwe and Africa but the rest of the world.
A sense of family was ever present within the organiser’s camp which made the event seem so effortless putting aside minor “beginners” bleeps. Having hosted the event on the same day as Summer-Jam in its own right puts things in perspective for us all. Summer-jam much like Zim-fest is one of the many summer events that take place every year to bring together Zim artists from across the world to perform in front of vibrant crowds. In the face of such crowd pulling events the work done by Lorraine’s Face of the Globe together with Zim-Link and Media 4 Youth for the goodness of the girl child was taken seriously and should rightly be. Their work includes providing equipment and teaching material to accommodate lessons in Zimbabwe within the media and film industry with the hope of improving awareness and freedom of speech.
As the night went on and I got carried away with the food and the extremely spicy hot sauce while chatting away, it seems I was starting to miss the action. It was evident from the cheer in the room as re-entered to see the fabulous Shanky re-opening the event with her catchy and upbeat set. Her presence on set was amazing and ‘she deserves the spotlight’ is my verdict after watching her perform. As much as I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of her before the night I think it was my time to do so. As I sat and got to know her reps I realised how serious her career was and for a Zimbabwe artist I felt nothing but pride to have had an inside look into where she is headed.
The goodies did not end there as the models continued to put their all into each and every performance with action from Alicia and Nicole standing out during the second half. As the models got comfy in their African attire, tradition, chic and semi tropical are words that spring to mind. The models came out as confident as birds taking flight and committing themselves to the air and all aiming for the crown. The top prize was to go on a 7-day all expenses paid trip to represent the country at the global finals in Paris. This meant that intelligence; charisma and class were at stake throughout the process to determine who best could provide the perfect portrayal of the modern Zimbabwe.
As the event came to a close and “Kodak” picture moments in motion, everyone was all smiles and joyful with the successful contestants doing rounds and interview with the Media4Youth teams. From what I and the rest of the people at the event witnessed on the night, I believe and endorse the organisations involved in helping to create a better Zimbabwe for now and the future. Interviews and photos from organisers, attendees’ and contestants can be found on the Zim-Link Facebook page along with our website here at media4youth.
With the opportunity to be Miss Photogenic, Miss Personality and Best Dressed there was definitely more than one winner on the night and if you’re still wondering who won what over the evening well, the pictures on the site say it all.