This past Easter Holiday I was invited to be a judge at a pageant held at an orphanage here inBulawayo,Zimbabwe. John Smale is a government funded orphanage that cares for orphaned children by providing shelter, guidance, clothing and food. The children range in ages, with some in primary school and most being high school aged.
John Smale which is located along Van Reibeck Drive in Barharm Green is conveniently close to three high schools (Montrose Girls High, Hamilton Boys High School & Founders High School) and two primary schools (Barharm Green Primary School & Henry Low Primary School) making education easily accesible for all the children in the home.
Amanda Mutangadura of AM Model Management based in Bulawayo hosted the Miss Easter pageant and coordinated the entire event. The other two judges with me were former Miss Zimbabwe Samantha Tshuma (a native of Bulawayo) and Tapiwa Shonhe who is currently studying Linguistics in Germany.
The contestants who varied in ages from as young as 7 to as old as 17 competed in 3 categories; casual wear, traditional wear and evening wear.
The young ladies were very impressive exuding so much confidence; I know from experience walking on stage is not easy. They left us purely entertained in the traditional wear category with their routine.
Their peers were all there to cheer them on and clapped and whistled when we announced the winner and runners up.
In addition to our visit to the orphanage we had the wonderful opportunity to present blankets to each child in the home. The blankets were a donation from National Blankets Zimbabwe. The blankets will come in handy as we are entering the gruesome winter season here in Zimbabwe.
The few hours we spent with the children filled their day with laughter and it is my hope that we can reach out to more orphanages here in Bulawayo.
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.”