Hunda rues poor Miss World preps

HARARE - Miss Zimbabwe 2014 Tendai Hunda has attributed her poor showing at the just-ended Miss World to hurried preparations.

Hunda, the third Miss Zimbabwe to be crowned since August this year when Thabiso Phiri stepped down as national queen following an alleged nude pictures scandal, was handed the national beauty title four days before the world pageant.

The reigning Miss Zimbabwe, who was hurriedly roped in to replace Cathrine Makaya who had replaced Phiri, admitted that her chances of landing the global crown were far from bright.

“If I had been given enough time; I am not bragging or anything, but I feel that I could have done better,” Hunda told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Given that there were so many of us, I came in late; I was behind, so for me to understand everything was difficult.  All I was doing was fight a personal battle, to do the best I could for my country and myself.”

In the build-up to the Miss World pageant, the Miss Zimbabwe Trust said Hunda had taken over Thabiso Phiri’s cancer project but the reigning national beauty queen suggested otherwise.

“Given that I was crowned four days before I was due to leave, I was not adequately prepared. I had an opportunity to implement a project. I was working with orphans, but I did it in four days. And yet it carries the bulk of the marks,” she said.

The 23-year-old national beauty queen emphasised that community projects play a big role in determining the eventual winner of the Miss World title.

“Beauty goes far beyond physical aspects. The beauty that is expected at Miss World level has more to do with purpose and brains. At the end of the day, we are all beautiful in our different ways, you can’t really measure it, but with brains you can differentiate it,” Hunda said.

Hunda urged aspiring national queens to start community projects well before they compete in the Miss Zimbabwe pageant.

“You can be brilliant on the ramp, and do everything else very well but the beauty with a purpose element carries the biggest marks. You should have a clear plan when you participate in Miss Zimbabwe; that is one of the biggest lessons I learnt. That purpose places you a cut above the rest; when you do not have it you can struggle and muddle throughout but you can’t make it far,” she said.

Miss Zimbabwe added that it is important for the country to send to the global beauty competition someone with the ability to excel in several diverse categories and competitions like Top Model of the World, sports and the beach competition.

“Whoever is going to be Miss Zimbabwe has to be an all-rounder, one who can compete in various key categories. In the sports competition, they will be testing your durability; how you can endure pressure. In the top model, they want to see how well you can walk and the talent you have. They need someone endowed with a specific talent so that you can attract sponsorships for charity events,” Hunda advised.

She felt that the ultimate Miss World winner Rolene Strauss from South Africa deserved the global title.

“I think Miss South Africa deserved the title. I was following the events before I got crowned and I saw that she had established a following and everything was up to scratch for her.  She was well-prepared,” she said.

“We are doing more or less the same thing in Zimbabwe; we are following the same guidelines. I think it is now up to Zimbabwean girls to come in their numbers from all over the country so that we come up with the best. I think we are on the right path.”

Hunda was unprepared to comment on the controversies that have dogged the national beauty competition this year.

“That is a difficult question. Problems are inevitable, I am thinking that maybe next year whoever they are going to crown has a role to play in preserving the dignity of the crown as at the end of the day it is not about the Miss Zimbabwe Trust,” she said.

“It is about the girls who are competing; you have to be patriotic. When they do the pageant next year, they should look for someone who already has projects in place and who is also intelligent and beautiful, just like they did this year. From a Christian point of view, I think it was the devil at play in all the problems that took place. I feel that the Miss Zimbabwe Trust did a good job.”

The final year BSc Honours in Administration student at the University of Zimbabwe also refused to comment on her predecessors, Thabiso Phiri and Catherine Makaya’s controversial short-lived reigns.

“I have no comment on Thabiso and Catherine’s reigns. 

“I don’t know what she (Catherine) was trying to prove, but she is the best person to answer that. I was equally surprised when I saw the picture as well.”

Catherine Makaya posted a picture on social media in which she was wearing the same dress that Hunda donned at Miss World.

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