Miss Albinism pageant resumes

HARARE - Miss Albinism beauty pageant which had been derailed by financial woes last year, will finally be held this year at the 1+1 Club at Longchen Plaza next Friday. 

Pageant organisers told the Daily News yesterday that they are still looking for sponsorship.

“So far we have only managed to secure well-wishers to sponsor the venue but we are still looking for some to help us in prizes.

“The proposed total prize for the winners is $2 500. The first winner will get $1 000, second $700 and third $500. The rest will be shared among the contestants,” said pageant founding director Brenda Mudzimu.

Mudzimu said they have raised $500 for prizes and a few hampers.

“If we fail to raise the proposed money, then winners will be sharing $500. The winner will get $250, second winner $150 and then the third winner will receive $100,” she said.

The event will see musicians Boom Berto, Jah Signal and Tsote among others sharing the stage.

Mudzimu said the event is meant to fight stigma in society.

“We have 15 models confirmed to take part in the pageant. We took all the contestants from different parts of the country including Harare, Kadoma, Gweru and Bulawayo among other areas.

“We are confident the pageant will bring awareness in the society and instil confidence among the people living with albinism,” said the 33-year-old pageant director.

Zimbabwe will be the second country in Africa to host this kind of pageant after Kenya.

“I cannot say I was inspired by Kenya to run this pageant but my albinism condition inspired me to,” Mudzimu, who is training to be a nurse, told the Daily News.

Albinism is a defect of melanin production that results in little or no colour (pigment) in the skin, hair and eyes of a human being.  

The condition has seen those living with it suffering considerable harm in superstitious societies.

Apart from harm, albinism is still treated as a curse in most societies — including Zimbabwe where communities have not demonstrated unconditional love for those living with it.

The Albino community is mostly endangered in Tanzania where witch doctors are notorious for killing them in the wicked belief that their body parts are magical.

Albinos represent one in approximately every 1 400 births in Tanzania which is the largest proportion in all of Africa.

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