The reigning Miss Summer Strides Celine Sialumba (24), who was crowned queen at a glamourous event last year in December at Lavinia Gardens, has revealed that she is ready to embrace the challenges that come with the crown.
The former Miss Lupane State University student is the first model to win Miss Summer Strides in 13 years.
Sialumba is among 12 models who made it to Miss Tourism World Zimbabwe finals which were held in November last year.
B-Metro Showbiz caught up with the Pumula South-bred model, who is currently studying towards a Bachelors of Commerce Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance with LSU, and compiled this report.
Q: How does it feel to be crowned Miss Summer Strides?
A: I feel honoured to have been crowned the queen of the pageant. The moment my name was announced as the winner it proved to me that through hard work anything is possible because I always wanted to be a celebrated model since pre-school.
Q: How has the crown changed your life?
A: It has changed my life positively not only because I am now recognised by people, but I get to advocate for mental health issues too. Mental health is real and one would realise that most people we spend time with have mental issues in life and it’s up to us to learn more about the condition and help in the treatment and healing process.
Q: Miss Summer Strides has groomed and molded big names such as Lorraine Maphala-Phiri, Tamerin Jardine and Portia Ncube. How much pressure do you have in filling their shoes?
A: A lot of pressure comes with the crown and people will be expecting a lot from me. All I can say is that I am my own queen with my own vision and goals. I have plans on making a change in the community, so the main pressure I have is on coming with initiatives on how I can bring impact on people’s lives in different communities.
Q: How much impact do you want to make on people living with mental illness?
A: Women have an overwhelmingly power to lead and cultivate a better Africa. As Miss Summer Strides, I believe in the prospects of empowering women to be the future leaders of Mental Health Awareness. I would take this opportunity to foster a massive campaign of encouraging people to choose empowerment over shame. We have to fight stigmatisation by living an empowered life. For me that means owning your story and your life.
Q: What is your responsibility as Miss Summer Strides in connection with Ingutsheni psychiatric hospital?
A: The tasks include hosting Mr and Miss Mental Health which will be contested by the Ingutsheni patients. We have also set up a salon for the patients so I have to see that it bears results. I am looking forward to work with other corporates to help the Miss Summer Strides crown in coming up with different initiatives that will benefit the patients at Ingutsheni.
Q: Now that you are Miss Summer Strides, what is the next challenge in your career?
A: My current challenge is to make sure that I see through my mission and vision on Mental Health Awareness.