THE entertainment fraternity in Livingstone has continued to come up with initiatives aimed at exploiting opportunities during the 20th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly which would be co-hosted by Livingstone City in Zambia and Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe from August 24 to 29, 2013.
Recently, chairperson of the Local Organising Entertainment and Sports Sub-Committee of the UNWTO General Assembly James Zimba said his committee had lined up entertainment programmes from March to August 31 to entertain tourists and other visitors in Livingstone before, during and after the conference.
Zimba, who is Southern Province Arts and Cultural officer, said in an interview in Livingstone that entertainers from Zambia and Zimbabwe would also start collaborating starting from next month.
He said the various entertainment activities would include music, dance, poetry and 'stand up' comedy under the 'African drum' among others.
One planned entertainment activity during the global tourism conference is the staging of Miss Hope UNWTO Beauty Pageant competition between Zambia and Zimbabwe models preferably on August 28, this year.
An organisation called Miss Hope Beauty Pageant Foundation Limited was registered on January 2, 2013 to, among others, champion the staging of Miss Hope UNWTO Beauty Pageant in August, this year.
The theme of the project is to promote tourism, culture sustainability and development as well as to eradicate poverty by working hand-in-hand with the Government and other stakeholders.
Miss Hope Beauty Pageant Foundation project co-ordinator Hannah Lubinda said the purpose of the foundation was to answer a number of problems the community was facing.
Ms Lubinda said her foundation had embarked on a journey to overcome various challenges which the community was facing.
"This community we are living in has an endless list of problems and we have taken it upon ourselves to answer some or at least to make a difference.
Our vision is to eradicate poverty by involving the community, corporate world and the Government," she said.
The objective of the foundation is to eliminate the fundamental problem of poverty, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, gender-based violence (GBV), corruption, illiteracy and ignorance through the provision of youth programmes such as drama, sports, carpentry, fashion and design etc and employment creation.
It would also provide recreation centres such as orphanages, sports centres and training centres as well as to work hand-in-hand with the Government, ministries, relevant people in authority such as the police, prisons and hospitals.
Last week on Friday night, Miss Hope Beauty Pageant Foundation Limited was launched in Livingstone at New Fairmount Hotel.
Soon after its launch, the foundation hosted Miss Hope UNWTO Beauty Pageant semi-finalist where 13 models from Livingstone and Choma participated in modelling out of which nine made it to the grand finale in August, this year.
The main sponsor for the event was Zambia Telecommunications Limited (Zamtel), while other stakeholders who came on board to support the event were Chanters Lodge, Likute Guest House, Libala Inn and Winners Travel Tours (WTT).
At the end of the August grand finale, there would be four winners with the first one getting a Queen Crown and Miss Hope UNWTO Beauty Pageant.
Other three winners would get First Princess Miss Hope UNWTO Beauty Pageant, Second Princess Miss Hope UNWTO Pageant and Miss Personality UNWTO Beauty Pageant.
Ms Lubinda said the grand finale would be preferably held at Zambezi Sun Hotel, although the venue and date were yet to be concretised.
A model Diana Munakombwe, aged 23, said she felt great to be one of the nine finalists who went through to Miss Hope UNWTO grand finale in August, this year.
Diana says she went through because of her hard work and she expressed confident of getting a Queen Crown.
"I am very positive that I will be the Queen. I have the beauty and appropriate height. Once I win, I would like to sensitise people on the importance of tourism so that they appreciate it.
I would like to work closely with the council in terms of keeping Livingstone clean and community development," she said.
Diana said it was important to keep the community clean and help people to understand why the Livingstone environment should be kept clean as the city was a tourist capital.
Another model Bibian Mbewe, aged 19, said she would like to urge other girls in the city to keep the city clean because that would help Livingstone to co-host UNWTO General Assembly.
"I am also working with the community because UNWTO will not only benefit Zambia but the local people as well.
I will sensitise them on the importance of living in a clean environment to make a difference and work with the Livingstone City Council to distribute bins in the city," she said.
Mimi Mambo, 22, said she was happy that she managed to qualify to represent Zambia against Zimbabwe in August.
"There are no winners because we are just finalists. Everyone worked hard to be where we are.
This is just the beginning for us to continue working hard and promoting tourism, cultural sustainability and development," she said.
Mimi believed that Zambians were what they were because of their culture, hence the need to sustain culture.
"If we can manage to sustain the culture and represent each culture across Zambia, then we can have a bright and wonderful future.
Livingstone is a tourist capital and if we can promote tourism and cleanliness, then we can put Zambia on the map and achieve great things as a nation and as models," she said.
Anita Kamutumwa, who trained the models, said she was impressed with their performance so far.
This is because the girls knew that they were going to be asked questions about the own country's tourism and this made them start researching towards the pageant, which was good for them and they have so far leant about culture and Zambia's tourism," she said.
Anita said the event exposed the models as most of them were start-up models and new people in the modelling industry.
"They were only starting and for them to go to the finals is a success. We had earlier expected eight models to go to finals but nine went through," she said.
The semi final was both a success and learning point to young models.
Everyone is now looking forward to the August Miss Hope UNWTO Pageant with Zimbabwe models.