HARARE - Black Opal Opal Face of Zimbabwe (Bofoz) has unveiled 16 ladies in the running for the $8 000 first prize that will be presented at the finale set for the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on July 25.
The first runner-up of the competition which is now in its third edition will receive $4 000 while the second runner-up will walk away $2 000 richer. Other lucky ladies will take home various prizes that include a year’s supply of cosmetics.
Votes from the members of the public will constitute 50 percent of the final result, while the judges will decide on the remainder.
Tatenda Mutseyekwa, the director of Yolana Investments that owns the Black Opal licence in Zimbabwe emphasised during the unveiling of the 16 finalists that the Bofoz was not a beauty competition.
“When you look at the event; it is not a beauty pageant where there are set standards. It has everyone from Chitungwiza to Mandara. It’s a way of showing that our products are for every woman in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We are embracing women in their different shapes and sizes and this is clear from our selection. Unlike beauty pageants that select stick-thin models, we accommodate all women. Last year we had a female pastor from Bulawayo as a finalist. Her family and church members rallied behind her.”
According to Mutseyekwa, Bofoz had empowered the various women who have pocketed prizes since the competition’s inception three years ago.
“The ultimate goal is women empowerment as well as having the winner’s face in all stores that stock our products. This will then go along with our aim of showing that Black Opal products are for the everyday woman. Last year, our winner, Tendai Farai got $8 000 and that empowered her to venture into her dream,” he said.
He added that 2013 winner Betty-Gugu Moyo earned a trip to New York plus prize money.
The current Bofoz winner Farai told the unveiling ceremony that the prize money she got for winning the competition had enabled her to venture into business.
“It was a ground-breaking experience for me. I had always had a dream to start a lingerie business for women of colour. And this vision is in the same line with Black Opal whose aim is to provide the best make-up for women of colour,” she said.
“After winning, it opened up doors for me and I attended a lingerie expo in China. I will be going to London to further study the female body and design for lingerie. The money that I won I used it to start up my business. This event empowers women and my life will never be the same again.”
The women battling for the top Bofoz prizes are Tuso Jumbe, 25, Trish Hakata, 22, Tanaka Manyuzu, 21, Shamiso Muradzikwa, 30, Nyasha Chitemerere, 25, Mercy Kamanura, 24, Hazel Kurwakumire, 29, Diana Rupapa, 23, Rufaro Moyo, 21, Tsitsi Taruvinga, 33, Tatenda Mugwambi, 23, Shingai Muchenje, 25, Shamiso Muradzikwa, 30, Ratidzai Changwesha, 33, Natasha Murape, 23, Mercy Kamanura, 24, Melody Komara, 30, and Cynthia Mafumhe, 22.