MELANIA Sibanda (21) from Lupane East, Ward 16, was crowned Miss Matabeleland North at a traditional event held in Gwelutshena Nkayi on 13 November.
Sibanda will be representing the province at the finals of Miss Rural Zimbabwe slated for March 2022.
Silethemba Moyo (19) from Nkayi Ward 22 and Sandisiwe Ndlovu (22) from Nkayi Ward 14, became first and second princess respectively.
Sibanda said she saw a poster calling on models to take part on the pageant and she left everything to chase her dream.
“In Lupane, I am a volunteer for a Non-Governmental Organisation which has interest in uplifting rural children and help them excel at school. One day, I saw a poster inviting models to do the catwalk and I took the chance.
“Growing up, I knew that one day I will be a model, but this opportunity came when I thought I will no longer fulfil my dreams. I am happy I took the challenge and today I am proud to be crowned Queen,” said the confident Sibanda.
As Miss Matabeleland North, she said she will use her brand to fight against child marriages and abuse so as to afford girls a chance to realise their full potential.
“Where I come from, children as young as 14 are married off due to poverty, some don’t even finish their education because they will be pregnant and that shutters their dreams.
“This is something that I will fight against because it’s unfair to the girlchild, they deserve the right to education and the right to choose what they desire in life.
“As early as it may sound, I am inviting various stakeholders to come and join me in fighting such repugnant practices against a girl child in Matebelend,” said Sibanda.
The founder of the pageant, Sipho Mazibuko said she was impressed with the participation of models from the rural areas on Miss Matebeleland North.
“After we took a sabbatical, we decided to return Miss Rural Zimbabwe in a bid to give rural children an equal chance as that of their counterparts in urban settlements.
“There were thirteen models who took part in the pageant, which is a great sign that our mission of empowering them reached out in their communities.
“Currently, we are waiting for licence holders to host the pageant in their respective provinces and the finals of Miss Rural Zimbabwe are slated for March 2022,” said Mazibuko.