Wednesday, 23 June 2021

MODELS STRANDED IN HARARE AFTER PATHETIC PAGEANT

SOME models and their handlers, who participated at the third edition of Miss Glam 2021, have made sensational claims of mistreatment and abuse at the hands of event organiser Marshall Rylie Ngonso.

The poorly-planned pageant, which was open to contestants aged between 15 and 22 years, was held at Bothwell House in Harare over the weekend. Efforts to contact Ngonso for comment were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Co-owner of a Gweru modeling agency, Frosties Modelling and Entertainment, Sharon Frost confirmed to NewsDay Life & Style that they were mistreated prior, during and after the pageant by Ngonso.

She said 10 of them (all from Gweru) were still stranded in Harare as of Saturday night. We arrived in Chitungwiza on Thursday at some primary school which had no electricity. Imagine we slept on the floor this winter.

“For supper we were served sadza with green vegetables and scrambled eggs,” she said. “The next morning we had a decent breakfast after my intervention. Rehearsals went on well that Friday, but we did not have lunch because there was nothing to cook.

“We then had supper (macaroni/sadza and vegetables) at around 9pm.  Frost said Ngonso disappeared on Saturday morning as they were preparing for the event that was scheduled to start at 12 noon.

“I hired a truck at US$15 which transported us to the venue. When we arrived we were shocked to discover that the pageant was going to be held in a “passage” and the changing room was an unclean and smelly restroom,” she said.

“We are very disappointed. Imagine travelling all the way from Gweru for a pathetic event. We are still stuck (as of Saturday) in Harare.

“We don’t have money to return home as he had promised to refund us the money we used for food and transport to and from the venue, but soon after the pageant he disappeared.”

Frost encouraged models to thoroughly research about pageants before they decide to participate.

“Our models were asked to pay US$22. Seven dollars was said to be for registration and US$15 for boot camp. All that went down the drain.”

Miss Midlands Agricultural Show (2019) Samkelisumusa Makombe said Ngonso should be held accountable for his actions.

“I am really hurt and disgusted. It is people like Ngonso who make the industry look bad. Most up-and-coming models’ dreams are screwed up after such ill-treatment. I doubt they will want to try again,” she said.

Models Against Abuse Movement founder Lucia “Lucy Bardie” Mazhou said such behaviour was killing the pageantry industry.

“People are organising pageants to make money and not to uplift aspiring models. Slowly the models are losing interest in pageantry. After such a terrible experience models lose faith and interest,” she said. Newsday

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