A MISS Grand Zimbabwe contestant has claimed that she was dropped from the competition after she turned down the organiser’s love proposal.
Marble Nyathi, 23, was dropped from the competition with the organiser, Chris Vukani Mhlanga, alleging that it was because she had “irregularly rough skin”, in remarks that have sparked a storm.
But Nyathi says this was not true.
The real reason, she says, is because she turned down Mhlanga’s sexual advances.
“We had auditions and during these auditions Vukani started proposing love to me. I rejected his proposals and told him it was unprofessional for him to be doing that,” she said.
“I also told him I would never fall in love with him because he had first hit on my friend, who rejected him too.”
In an interview with the local press, Mhlanga rejected charges that he sought to have an improper relationship with Nyathi.
“What that thing is saying is shallow. I did not propose love to her. I am a professional person and I know my ethics,” he said.
“She is a shallow attention-seeker. When I saw (her) pictures I was very disappointed. Her skin was so rough and full of scars kungani uphalwe ngerazor,” he said.
“We tried waxing her, polishing her up but nothing changed and I had to look for other models.
“I waxed her, bought her make-up, a lot of things just to make her look a lot better and I even bought her shaving cream because she came for the shots with hair in her armpits.
“That is as far as I went trying to make this girl our representative. She is that careless about herself. Such a girl does not match what we are looking for,” he said.
Mhlanga also added that Nyathi even failed to rehearse her lines.
“She completely failed to recite her lines for the introduction video and after 20 or more takes the cameramen asked her to go and practise. I footed all the costs from the cameraman, makeup artist, venue and time but what I get are insults from her at the end of it all.”
Nyathi’s remarks have however, torched a storm with some women activists lambasting Mhlanga for lacking respect for women he seeks to represent.
Women Foundation for Southern Africa (WEFSA) Director, Edinah Masanga, said they are appalled by Mhlanga’s vicious attack on the young woman.
“We are deeply appalled by his remarks about the girl. We feel they are not only degrading, diminishing and disrespectful but are an insult to all of us beautiful women in our own ways,” Masanga said.
“We believe in women’s diversity and that all represent a unique beauty that should not be the subject of one man's denigrating remarks.”
She urged Miss Grand International to review the Zimbabwean licence holder.
Noma Moyo said Mhlanga’s description of the woman is degrading, demeaning, disrespectful and insensitive considering that women also bear the scars of the many struggles that they encounter in life.
“I together with many other Zimbabweans feel that Mhlanga is a predator who does not value the women he deals with and does not deserve to be the holder of the Miss Grand Competition which seeks to make a stand for the betterment of humanity,” she said.
Moyo said Mhlanga’s views were a danger to women and society as a whole.