UZ student wins Miss Albinism

HARARE - University of Zimbabwe Social Work student Sithembiso Mutukura was crowned Miss Albinism Zimbabwe at an inaugural "Beauty beyond the skin" pageant held at a Harare joint.

Monalisa Manyati, 22, and Makaita Ngwenya, 21, landed the first and second princess titles respectively, while Jenifer Madinza was crowned Miss Personality.

Mutukura walked away $85 richer and a hamper for coming first while each of the contestants walked away with a hamper courtesy of different sponsors.

“I still can’t believe this. I am very excited,” said the Marondera-based Mutukura after clinching the title.

“Being a student of Social Work at the University of Zimbabwe, I believe I am going to play my role towards the betterment of lives of people living with albinism,” she said.

Former Miss Malaika Brita Masalethulini, who was one of the adjudicators at the pageant meant to reduce stigma and increase awareness about albinism in the country, was happy with the confidence exhibited by the girls.

“We were looking at girls’ confidence as well as the way they carried themselves during the pageant,” Masalethulini said.

The Zimbabwe Miss Albinism pageant director Brenda Mudzimu told the Daily News that she was happy that the pageant was victorious despite the low number of sponsors who came on board.

“I feel I have achieved something great in life,” she said.

On Friday, Zimbabwe became the second country in Africa to host a pageant of this nature after Kenya.

Back in the day, albinism has been treated as a curse. People living with albinism were raped, killed as there was a lot of myth surrounding their skin condition.

However, the society at large is slowly coming to terms with albinism thanks to intensified awareness campaigns coming in different formats including music and beauty pageants.

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

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