Miss Deaf set for February

HARARE - Miss Deaf Zimbabwe, which last held a national pageant three years ago, will finally select a new national queen in Harare on February 25 next year.

Pageant organiser and founder Madeline Yohane told the Daily News that her organisation —  Miss Deaf Zimbabwe Trust — had decided to revive the beauty contest despite the “serious lack of resources.”

“We are currently doing some fundraising to raise the necessary resources to hold the pageant in Harare at a venue still to be decided.

“We have failed to hold the pageant as regularly as we should due to lack of resources and sponsorship. We are hopeful that corporates will come on board to support this worthy initiative,” said Yohane.

The Miss Deaf Zimbabwe founder added that the pageant was an important platform young deaf women aged between 17 and 30.

“The pageant seeks to show deaf girls and other physically challenged people that they can fully participate in various events and activities. It also aims to bring awareness to the nation of their needs,” she told the Daily News.

According to Yohane, Miss Deaf Zimbabwe has so far identified 15 girls.

“We are targeting 20. We hope other interested deaf girls will come forward regardless of where they are from in Zimbabwe,” she said.

The pageant, to be held in February, will crown a new queen to replace reigning Miss Deaf Zimbabwe Kuda Mapeture, 24, who made Zimbabwe proud last July when she landed two continental titles at the Miss Deaf Africa 2016 held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The vivacious Mapeture won the first princess and Miss Deaf Photogenic Africa titles at the event that was won by Miss Deaf South Africa Cirsty Greeff, who also took home the Miss Deaf Personality accolade. Miss Deaf Botswana Kemmolye Ke Raetswe was the second princess.

Mapeture, who made it into the top 10 at the 2013 Miss and Mr Deaf World Pageant held in Prague in the Czech Republic, is determined to be a positive role model for Zimbabwean deaf girls and to raise awareness about deaf people to the general populace.

“People have to be aware of what deaf people can do, the challenges they face and the importance of equality.

“My success is important to deaf girls because I am their role model. They can learn to be confident about themselves and to stand for themselves and not to be afraid of doing what they want in life. Participating and winning this competition gives me the opportunity to educate people about deaf people,” Mapeture told the Daily News after her success in South Africa.