Abuse in Zambian modeling industry continues

I write on behalf of all Zambians trying to do the right thing for Zambians to help Zambians. I am the co-ordinator of the Queen of Zambia UK pageant and it is with sincere regret that I would like to inform the public on the unjust treatment, myself the former Miss Zambia U.K Flavia Mbazima and the pageant contestants where subject to by Rich Visions, Rich Promotions and 2ndII None (these promoters are all from Ghana). My bid is to stop or if possible ban “artificial” promoters from holding Zambian events at all. This ply has come as a result of receiving a confession from a Ghanaian who worked the pyrotechnics on the night, his exact words where “when I do Ghana or Nigerian Independence, I only get paid £250, but when I do Zambian independence, I get paid £500” unbeknownst to him that I did or any of the people working the pageant, had not been paid, he was actually under the assumption that we had been paid quite a hefty amount for our troubles, which was clearly what he was informed by the promoters. With the promoters not having paid myself not only for the performance I did on the night but for all the hard work I put in during the preparations of the pageant, you can imagine my surprise, disgust and how insulted I felt as a Zambian that they would behave in this manner.

Upon being approached to coordinate the pageant, I was ecstatic at the idea of doing something for Zambians that will eventually give something back to our country and our people, I came up with ideas of how we can utilise the pageant as a form of having “beauty with a cause”. My vision for the pageant was so we could raise money for the charities in Zambia that needed the help the most, and with time try and secure sponsorship to help this cause grow. We here in the UK and abroad have a responsibility to our people, to make sure we represent our people and let the world know we exist, and that Zambia is a developing country and is just as important as the others going through hard times. Our aim should be to put Zambian on the map in a positive way. I know for a fact that I for one did not come here to just party and be merry but to let people know who I am where I come from and what my purpose as a representative of Zambia is. So I ask this, how are we supposed to fly the Zambian flag high if our own fellow Africans are trying to exploit us and profiting from our hard work? Myself and the people I mentioned above where put in a lot of financial strain as a result of the incompetence of the promoters to provide funds when needed, i.e. for the rehearsal space, expenses, instead we had to take money out of our own pockets in some occasions to suffice for it as a way of not disappointing the young girls that committed themselves to the pageant. As I am writing this I still have not received any funds in respect of payment towards myself or the prize fund that was due to the girls. Instead we had to take upon ourselves and utilise the ticket sales we made to compensate for the prize fund in the least. We plan on carrying on with the Queen of Zambia Pageant and carry on to make the Zambian people proud, however I ask the Zambian people to put a stop to these promoters with motives that are only fuelled with greed and intentions of just profiting off of our goodwill. As they are making plans to yet hold another Zambian event for 2010, it is our duty to stop them and ensure the responsibility of such events is put in the hands of those with a genuine interest in our people. The Zambian events should be for Zambians to help Zambians and not for Zambians to help Ghanaians profit. I am all about supporting fellow Africans but it becomes problem when they are making a mockery of our tradition and our willingness to want to participate in Zambian events. I am going to make “noise” so to speak, until these sort of promoters are put to a stop, it is not the first time that this kind of thing has happened to us Zambians here in the UK but I will take upon myself to ensure that it is the last time. We Zambians are here to work together and promote our people and our country in the best possible ways that we can within our abilities. We are not here to exploit our people and certainly not have others exploit us for their own means.

Please help me put a stop to this, I am an avid Zambian and I am extremely proud of who I am and where I come from, I am not asking for the promoters to pay me, it would be too late anyways however, I am looking at the principal of the matter, there is work that can be carried out to help Zambians at home who are really suffering, and pageants and events such as this are a good means, however they shall not work or flourish for that matter if we have greedy promoters pulling the strings
Your sincerely

Ethel Gondwe

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