Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.27 - Miss Zimbabwe 2011

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. The country lies almost entirely over 300 meters above sea level. Its principal physical feature is the broad ridge running 400 miles from southwest to northeast across the entire country, from Plumtree near the Botswana frontier through Gweru and Marondera to the Inyanga Mountains, which separate Zimbabwe from Mozambique. About 50 miles wide, this ridge ranges in altitude until it eventually rises to 2,592 meters at Mount Inyangani, the highest point in Zimbabwe, in the eastern highlands. This ridge is known as the Highveld and comprises about 25 percent of the country. Victoria Falls, one of the world's biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, is located in the country's northwest as part of the Zambezi river. The Victoria Falls National Park is also in this area and is one of the eight main national parks in Zimbabwe, largest of which is Hwange National Park. The country has a tropical climate with a rainy season usually from November to March. The climate is moderated by the altitude. There are a number of ancient ruined cities built in a unique dry stone style only in Zimbabwe. The most famous of these are the Great Zimbabwe ruins in Masvingo. Other ruins include Khami Ruins, Zimbabwe, Dhlo-Dhlo and Naletale, although none of these is as famous as Great Zimbabwe. The nation debuted in Miss World back in 1980 and finished in fourth place in 1994. Zimbabwe will be represented this year by the graceful Malaika Mushandu, Miss Zimbabwe 2011.


The Times of Beauty proudly presents Malaika Mushandu, Miss Zimbabwe 2011, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself.
My name is Malaika Mushandu. I am a young Zimbabwean woman who is privileged to represent her country as Miss Zimbabwe for 2011. At the age of 18, I was fortunate to make Zimbabwean history as the youngest contestant ever to win the national pageant. In addition to the title, I was also crowned Miss Top Model and Miss Photogenic. Prior to the Miss Zimbabwe crowning, I held the Miss Harare title in 2010 and a number of other titles such as Miss Model Extravaganza, Miss Southern Africa Zimbabwe 2010 as well as becoming a finalist for the Zimbabwean leg of the MNET-Face of Africa pageant. Away from the catwalk, I’m pretty much your ordinary daughter, sister and friend.


2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown.
Zimbabwe (meaning the House of Stone) is a beautiful country and indeed a ‘World of Wonders’ indulged with beautiful attractions such as the Magnificent Victoria Falls (Mosi a Tunya – The Smoke that Thunders), the Great Zimbabwe, the Eastern Highlands and Pristine wildlife and nature, a wonderful history and culture, Kariba and the Mighty Zambezi but above all a wonderful people and culture. Zimbabwe’s hospitality is unique and incomparable to any nation. They are warm, hardworking and hospitable. You just have to experience it to know what I mean!

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
It is a great honour to fly my country’s flag at such a prestigious event. I know I carry the hopes and aspirations of my fellow country people and I will strive to ensure that Zimbabwe is portrayed as the great nation that it is.


4. If you have to choose a song to describe yourself, which would you choose and why?
Tracy Chapman - The Promise. It talks about a love that is constant, love that is unconditional; love that is ever lasting and infinite. It places a picture in my mind of a better world where each and everyone has a fraction of this kind of love towards God’s creation. Our world would be a better only if the people thrive on this kind of love.



5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
A typical day would involve participation in a number of national projects such as the recently launched Buy Zimbabwe campaign, Clean Zimbabwe campaign. I also spend time fostering my charity project ‘Water and Sanitation’ for the Miss World Beauty with a Purpose Fast Track. As Miss World is approaching, I now spend my time for the Miss World finals. This entails working out at the gym, attending fittings for my costumes and quite a bit of administrative work.


6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
After completing my degree in Cinematography at AFDA (a prominent South African film school) I will have returned home to establish myself within the local and eventually international film industry.I also hope to have started a successful business so that I can invest meaningfully in our country’s economy because as much as foreign investment is important; the responsibility to develop a country lies squarely with its citizens.

7. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
I admire our nation’s founding fathers for the huge sacrifices they made in order to secure the future for coming generations. I admire His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for his dedication to nationalism, his intelligence and firmness.


8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
Strangely even though I’ve traveled to a number of countries, I wouldn’t trade in Zimbabwe for any other country. Not only because it is home but also because the climate and wild life is fantastic. (I am a nature lover)

9. After the Sendai Earthquake, nuclear energy has become a focus of attention. Are you in favor or against the use of this kind of energy as a way to reduce the dependence on oil?
The world definitely has to reduce its dependence on oil; however there is a need to focus on less environmentally harmful and cheap energy sources like solar energy, wind power and moving water.


10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
Poverty and a lack of basic human needs to me is the worst kind of human injustice. This is what led me to spearhead the water and sanitation project I’m currently involved in.

11. What are your duties as Miss Zimbabwe?
My role as Miss Zimbabwe is to serve the interest of my nation - in all spheres be it socially, politically, economically and religiously. When you are Miss Zimbabwe, I believe you are an ambassador for the country and everybody will be looking up to you in terms of serving their interests. Hence, by that I involve myself in community projects, charity programmes as well as marketing and promoting destination Zimbabwe as a tourism destination of choice in both the local and international platforms. As part of my social responsibility programmes, I have embarked on my projects, I am working on the water and sanitation project and the clean Zimbabwe campaign.


12. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
In this era where the World has been transformed to a global village through the advent of internet and satellite, I believe the social media plays a very critical positive role in pageants. It makes easy access to the whole world despite the distance barriers. Mostly, it helps me in marketing and fostering support as well as individual participation in my projects. It creates a networking platform with people from all walks of life, particularly with other country queens whom we can share experiences and lessons based on different locations. It also gives me the platform to appreciate the world out there and my country’s needs, unlike when I use traditional methods of communication which are restrictive in a way. However, in as much as the social media might have its shortfalls, I believe when used effectively and positively it can go a long way.

13. What does it mean to be a human being?
To be a human being means God’s greatest creation. Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over all the creatures of the earth’. However, this comes with responsibilities, empathy, altruism and compassion towards fellow people and other creations.


14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
I’m still discovering my purpose and I feel this is a journey that continues throughout a person’s life. What I do know is that all the experiences I’ve undergone can enrich someone else because I believe that every single human being was created to share their life with other people.

15. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
Thank you so much for the love and support that you have shown me. Each of us has been placed on Earth to share ourselves with each other, when we give of ourselves only then can we realize true joy.

and finally...
Personal Motto: ‘Be the change you want to see.’
Personal Goal: My Goal is to perform to the best of my abilities at the Miss World finals and to become a leading film producer.
Personal Dream Destination: The Maldives
Favorite Food: Rice nedovi (a traditional Zimbabwean meal of brown rice mixed with peanut butter) with chicken feet in tomato gravy. Absolutely scrumptious!
Favorite Color: Black
Favorite Song: Music is an essence of the soul and different songs pass on different messages, different feelings thus saying one wouldn’t do justice to the art.
Favorite Movie: Pay It Forward.
Favorite Book: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Dr Maya Angelou.
Favorite Singer/Band: Faith December (A Zimbabwean Jazz singer)
Favorite Actor/Actress: Morgan Freeman and Dakota Fanning
Favorite Hobby: Scuba diving. As a girl I always dreamt of scuba diving and now that I’ve taken it up I’m absolutely in love with it!
Favorite Sport: Basketball

SPECIAL THANKS
Salome Chari, Press/Media Miss Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority
, License Holders of Miss World in Zimbabwe
Malaika Mushandu
, Miss Zimbabwe 2011

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