VERY often people think that nations can only be represented or showcased to the rest of the world through purely formal diplomatic channels.
This is a common misconception, as people often believe that countries only interact through the effortsA� of officially appointed diplomats clad in suits.
However, it is important to note that any citizen from the country is capable of representing Zimbabwe whenever they leave the countrya��s borders in their personal or professional capacity.
Thus, be it in sports or the arts, whoever goes outside the country representing the countrya��s colours should know that they are serving a purpose greater than their personal glory.
The Zimbabwean team for the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) left this week to represent the country to the best of their outstanding abilities.
This year Zimbabwe is being represented in five different categories by Sylent Nqo, an instrumentalist and one of the fastest rising and highly sought-after local guitarists; versatile award-winning beat-boxer ProBeatz, model Tafadzwa Carol Guzha, and Timothy Hogo a popular radio and TV personality with ZBC.
However, the group left without the pair of Bulawayo models, Shadel Noble and Tatenda Manungo, who could not come up with the necessary funds for their trip to the United States.
Noble and Manungo, both products of the countrya��s most reputable modelling agencies, Fingers, were set to join other top models from around the world in the contest which is taking place at Terrace Theatre and Seaside Ballroom in Hollywood.
The competition began on 8 July and ends on 16 July.
WCOPA, sometimes referred to as the a�?Olympics of the Performing Artsa�?, sees competitors of every age judged in acting, singing, dancing, modelling, instrumentalists, and variety of other categories.
Noble and Manungo were initially earmarked to be part of the group, but according to their manager Nokuthaba Sibanda, they missed the boat as they could not come up with the money to fund their Hollywood sojourn. The duo needed at least $5 000 to fund their trip.
a�?We could not come up with the finances and try as we may we found no one willing to fund their trip. We tried all avenues but not even one sponsor came to our aid. We only received support from fashion designers who asked us to come up with material that they would use to design outfits for the two of them for free,a�? she said.
Sibanda said that although the two had missed out on the opportunity this year, they were going to be given a chance at next yeara��s showpiece.
The WCOPA areA� under way in Hollywood with 61 countries taking part. Team Zimbabwe took part in the first round of qualifiers on Tuesday. On Wednesday the list of those that made it into the semi-finals was announced with three of our four-team members qualifying for the semi- finals.
These are team captain Sylent Nqo for the Senior Instruments category, Timothy Hogo for the Senior Modelling category, and Probeatz for the Vocal Variety and Dance categories. In each category they were competing with an average of 150 contestants of which the top 10 were selected for the semis. On Thursday the three were competing to make it into the finals where three out of the top 10 were selected.
One hopes that, with the knowledge that they are representing their country foremost in their minds the remaining Zimbabwean participants will come back with more than experience when they land in Harare.