Is Miss TZ old wine in a new bottle?

Friday September 14 2018


By Nasra Abdallah,

Dar es Salaam . After weeks of anticipation curtains finally rolled down on Miss Tanzania contest and when the dust had settled Elizabeth Makune from Kinondoni was declared ‘the fairest of them all’.

Her verve and swagger had put her in pole position beating the other 21 contestant to the crown that has in recent years been dogged by controversy.

The 22-year-old Tanzania Institute of Accountancy student had wowed the panel of judges that included renowned scribe Jenerali Ulimwengu and tourism board’s Devotha Mdachi.

Queen, as she is fondly known, had what it takes, the calm, the persona, gracefulness and even her education background was a thing that most of her competitors could only envy.

Her choice as Miss Tanzania was something that many did not doubt as opposed to the previous years where many did not agree with the judges’ choice to the extent that in 2014 the winner had to abdicate the crown.

But after the confetti has settled over Saturday’s event, there were matters arising as the social media chose to take issue with what many considered were trivial issues.

The winner’s Prize

For her efforts the winner was together with the crown awarded a saloon car to ease her transportation while running errands during her reign as Miss Tanzania.

The choice of the car became a very contentious issue that polarized opinion even after The Look officials had declared that the car (Terrios Kid ) had cost a cool Sh15 million.

Some on social media chose to photo shop the images and argued that the said car didn’t match the price tag that had been quoted - To them it was more of a ‘baby walker’.

This was not the first time that cars had caused a fracas at such contests, earlier during the zonal search Basila Mwanukuzi rejected a car which was to be awarded to Miss Lake Zone.

This riled the organisers ‘Jembe ni Jembe’ who believe they had done their best to get a suitable prize only to be rebuffed by the committee.

And as Saturday’s events played, there were those who accused her of double standards something that the former beauty queen vehemently denied.

“I do not see the difference between a Terrios Kid and the Passo that caused a lot of confusion two months ago in Mwanza,” wrote Jembe ni Jembe

Actress Jacqueline Wolper also weighed in with a post on her Instagram page saying there could have been other better prizes than what she called a reconditioned car.

“I don’t have any problems with the organisers of this contest but after what happened in Mwanza we expected her to come up with something better,” wrote Jacqueline Wolper

But Basila wasn’t taking any of the shoves saying those were detractors who wanted the contest to flop urging them to move on

Beach wear

This has always been a contentious issue that has polarized opinion in many ways yet it remains one of the major criteria at the Miss World contest.

However in the Tanzanian edition of the pageant it is something that is deemed untraditional given the fact that it exposes certain sensitive body parts.

On this night it was quite evident that what most beauties chose to wear was not anything close to beach attire.

Much as these reinventions of beach wear could be welcome news, it is something that is not acceptable at the international standards.

Hamisa Mobeto effect

The past one week had been a rocky one for celebrity parents Hamisa Mobeto and singer Diamond Platinumz after the latter claimed that the singer had visited a medicine man to cast a spell on him.

But trust Hamisa she has over the years developed a very thick skin and even such mischievous rumours were not going to deter her at a show of Miss Tanzania’s magnitude.

Despite several high ranking dignitaries gracing the show her arrival was grand as she was accompanied by several bodyguards who made sure she was well protected.

She gave cameramen a miss after she was immediately whisked away after a cameo appearance on the red carpet.

In making her as the host of the night organisers had played their cards well for she was the centre of attraction

Red carpet

Back in the days this was the place where the rich and famous came to play and show off their pricey possessions, this was not the case last Saturday.

In fact, many of the city’s socialites stayed away from the event that was once ranked alongside the Simba Versus Yanga derby duels in terms of popularity.

Gauging by what was on offer on Saturday night very little creativity has been added to the pageant and it is easily predictable.

It was a must attend for whoever considered himself worth being called a socialite.

On this night though many of the former beauty queens came to support one of their own there were some notable absentees such as 2006 beauty queen Wema Sepetu.

Times have definitely changed and so have priorities especially during the troubled days of the pageant under Lundenga, many still hold a stereotype against this glamorous contest.

Miss World

Every winner of this contest aims at the big shot at Miss World contest which takes place in December in Sanya China.

Tanzania has for the past 24 years performed poorly at the international level with 2005 the only when the country registered some progress at that level after Nancy Sumari was crowned Miss World Africa.

On that December night, in the glare of global television audience, Nancy Sumari, walked away with the Miss World Africa crown in Sanya China.

Her win reverberated across the country as she had succeeded in an area that none had conquered before and to date it remains as highest position the industry has ever scored since 1994.

And this as far as Tanzanian contestants have gone with nothing tangible to show, which makes pundits, questions the chances of Tanzania ever winning this coveted world prize. The eleventh hour preparations have always left the young women in a dilemma as contestants barely have time to master the competition’s rudiments.

Though organisers will argue their case, earlier preparations allows the participants and organisers time to scrutinise the right representative, in terms of what it takes to win the title, instead of last minute rush.