Entering Miss Zimbabwe UK was never something I thought about or consulted my family on. I had already entered one pageant that year and earned the titles of 2nd Princess and ‘Miss Charity’. That pageant was not as big or well known as Miss Zimbabwe UK, therefore the pressure would have been most likely be on a whole different scale. Competing in pageants seemed like something that would be taxing to my heart, mind and body. Being compared, being judged and being critiqued by strangers was what I feared the most. However, my sister decided Miss Zimbabwe UK would be the perfect platform for me!
Of course with nerves and fears bumbling away under the surface, I agreed with her, she was after all more knowledgeable about the entertainment industry than I. I attended boot camp, sat through interviews and did promotional videos. The mentors were amazing women, who not only treated us like their own sisters/daughters, they were God fearing. They created a family atmosphere with us and were always just a phone call away.
However, it was still a competition therefore I had to learn what I could. The girls were absolutely stunning, very smart and not afraid of hard work. I believe we all pushed each other to be the best we could be in our own little ways. Interviews happened, there was always a camera somewhere, someone giving advice, that was the fun part before the competition. The challenging part was social media, reading the comments and seeing what people thought of me. I found that social media was a powerful platform for good and for bad. Bullying was something that happened online, but for every harsh comment, I had a family member standing up for me, a friend praying for me and a mentor reminding me why I entered in the first place. I had to stay off of social media and concentrate on me.
I was confident I had done my best
When I entered this competition, I was not praying to win nor was I praying to be better than everyone else. I was praying to learn something new and frankly, not to embarrass myself. Those little prayers we all say to get us through a rough day were the prayers I uttered during competition day. I had to physically shake my hands to get rid of the nerves. I didn’t have family in the audience because they were attending a friend’s wedding. It was starting to look more and more like a bad idea. There were a few stumbles here and there during the day but I kept praying with my back against the wall, I needed something solid to hold me up. Each round brought me closer and closer to the judges’ decisions. I was called for the top 5 and felt pleased, “I could go home now, my first major pageant and I placed” was what I thought.
Then the top 3 were called, starting with third, then second, of course the MC took his time announcing first place! The nerves I felt, the work I had put in, the hours of practice I had endured did not matter anymore, this was the only thing that mattered. Suddenly, I was not satisfied with being top 5, something shifted and I wondered if I could come in first. I was confident that I had done my best. I had been myself and applied all the corrections I had been given. When I took that time to examine myself and realized I wanted first, I realized that whether it happened or not, I had worked hard and was proud of myself. Tense, silent and heart pounding, I waited for the judges’ decision.
Then suddenly, I heard the MC call my name! In the early stages of the competition l was satisfied with being in the top 5 as a way of protecting myself from disappointment. Negativity from social media would happen whether it was me or not, so I stopped concerning myself with it. I didn’t cry when I won as I had seen so many do in the past. I don’t think I smiled either! Later on when all the emotions came, I cried, I prayed and thanked God. I rang my family, but they already knew! I was elated.
I realized that entering the pageant made me second guess myself and forget that my identity was not in Miss Zimbabwe UK. My identity was and always will be in Christ. I knew who I was yet forgot because it took me a while to talk with my spiritual support. After the whole experience I realized, I knew all along who I was and what I was called to do. Miss Zimbabwe UK was not the destination but a stop within the journey of affirming my character, identity and most importantly, my faith.
a Christian Miss Zimbabwe UK
I am thankful to my mentors who I still keep in contact with today, they really added value to my life and made sure I was well taken care. My family was supportive in my decision to enter a pageant as a young Christian woman, they saw what I was doing and there were no qualms about it. I had always modelled in the past, but this was asking a lot from them. They had to endure the harsh reality of social media but also got to enjoy meeting new people. During my tenure I linked up with ‘Kadoma Kids’ which is a charity based in Stevenage. Rather than start a charity, I wanted to support one that had a foundation and needed some publicity. The Mayor of Stevenage backed this charity even more than I did and it was a pleasure working with them and their families.
Dont let anyone make you believe a lie
Some advice I would give to a young person thinking of entering a pageant is that they be sure of who they are and make sure they are surrounded by people who remind them when they forget. Don’t let anyone with an opinion make you believe a lie, be you, you’re beautiful! Never compare yourself to anyone else instead help another queen recognize the beauty within them because when queens get together, amazing things happen.