New Harare carnival queen crowned

HARARE - Gamuchirai Kunjeke was crowned Harare International Carnival Queen on Friday, in a stiffly-contested beauty pageant which saw the crown returning to Harare.

Screams from Kunjeke’s family drowned her coronation just after her name was called out as the winner.

The real life mannequin gave in to a flood of tears as it dawned on her she had just won the coveted $20 000 prize money, car and a $1 000 monthly allowance for the rest of the year.

Kunjeke ,18, was the youngest of the 17 girls who battled it out to win the ambassadorial role of representing the country’s tourism sector for the next year.

Blessing Mukumene from Masvingo was crowned the first princess and Yvonne Nyamutsamba from Harare was second princess.

Kunjeke, who wowed the crowd and judges alike, hails from Bindura and is in Harare due to work commitments.

In a recent interview, Kunjeke promised to represent the country and market it as an attractive tourist destination. She also condemned society for stereotyping models.

“I am big on grooming as I believe etiquette takes you places,” she said. “I have a passion for young women and am saddened when society brands us all as promiscuous people who wreck marriages.

“Of course there are people who do that and all I aim at is establishing a school that will provide proper patronage,” said the Mercy Mushaninga-groomed model.

The Chipindura High alumni could not hold back tears as her name was called out as the queen. As the teary model walked her  first lap of hounour, tears smudged her beautifully done make-up as she waved to fans and the citizens of the country she will represent in the next year.

Kunjeke, who is waiting to go to university, is still weighing her options as to which programme she will study in college.

The former child parliamentarian is eyeing a political career in the future.

“At the moment I am working with Roots, an initiative we formed that opens opportunities for young girls through transformation,” the voluptuous beauty said.

“I am also on radio every Saturday on SFM. I am a musician set to launch my first single in the next three months,” Kunjeke told the Daily News on Sunday.

Last year, Dananai Chipunza brought the crown to Harare. During her reign, she was involved in a lot of humanitarian work.

Chipunza, who received $50 000 from businessman Wicknell Chivayo of Intratek Zimbabwe, channelled the money towards her “Fund a Future Trust”. This is a charity project that takes care of at least 30 HIV positive orphans.

The Brita Maseletulini-inspired model, Kunjeke, told the Daily News on Sunday she is passionate about setting up a grooming school for models.

“I see the industry lacks patronage, I think highly of all the girls and think grooming and etiquette should be institutionalised,” she said.

The newly-crowned Carnival queen will lead processions in the second edition of the Harare International Carnival which is underway, with local and international acts slated to perform.

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