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‘Newbie’ making huge impact in modelling

Mthabisi Tshuma, [email protected]

HAVING been a part of the Miss Universe Zimbabwe pageant winners, Amanda Mpofu, a model from Bulawayo, has permanently inscribed her name in the annals of the nation’s modelling profession.

Twelve participants competed in the pageant, which was held again after a 22-year absence. The victors on the evening were Amanda Ziyambi Mpofu, who goes by the stage name Mandy, who was voted second princess, 21-year-old beautician Brooke Bruk Jackson, who was crowned Miss Universe Zimbabwe, and Nokutenda Marumbwa, who was the first runner up.

It is a significant accomplishment for the Matabeleland region to consistently be represented in nationally recognised events. Chronicle Showbiz caught up with Mandy to trace her footsteps in the ramp industry and she revealed that she is a newbie making a huge impact.

“My first ever modelling attempt was in 2021 when I participated in Miss Zimbabwe Grand. I finished as the first runner up. Well modelling, especially pageant modelling, has always been a secret passion for me. I cannot recount the numerous times I encountered strangers who advised me to explore the industry.

“I guess I was just young and not really ready too. However, in 2021, I decided to truly explore modeling and see where the journey would lead me. That is when I auditioned for Miss Zimbabwe Grand with nothing but a burning desire to just go out there and make a mark. And I must say I had a really great start for someone who had no professional training then because I came out a winner,” said Mandy.

She said it is through the Miss Grand Zimbabwe journey that she really learnt more about the industry.

“I got to understand about its operations and demands, which somehow prepared me for the Miss Universe Zimbabwe, the first ever after a good 22 years! Unfortunately, 2021 was post Covid-19 era, and a lot of things were still shaky within our societies, so I couldn’t do much with my part of the win at Miss Grand. I, however, feel like I’ll be able to do much more through the Miss Universe Zimbabwe win,” she said.
Mandy claimed that pageantry makes a very high demand on one’s financial resources.

“I think I speak for many models when I say that financial challenges are what discourage many models from exercising their passion. But financial challenges aside, this industry has the ability to spiral one into great heights.

“I can say I have gained a lot of beautiful relationships from the Miss Grand experience alone and I also did the same with the Miss Universe Zimbabwe. The other advantage about this industry is that you gain exposure — to the society/community and to the self, which helps in self-improvement and service to the community,” said Mandy.

Mandy paid tribute to her friends, family and the various support systems she has in her life that encouraged her to take part in the Miss Universe Zimbabwe.

“It was a thrilling moment for me. In as much as I went there expecting to win, the actual win came as a shocker. I mean, there were a lot of brilliant ladies on that stage who had just enough potential and poise to scoop the price. I’ll forever be proud because it’s not every day that one is crowned the 2nd runner-up of an esteemed pageant such as Miss Universe Zimbabwe.

“I think this feeling of triumph that I have will take the longest time to wash off. My heart swells with so much gratitude to my mom, siblings, friends and family for their unwavering support. I’m also grateful to God for always showing off with me. This is honestly a huge milestone. I also got a bonus win, and that has to be the hearty relationships I managed to build during boot camp,” said Mandy. — @mthabisi_mthire