UNITED KINGDOM – A 19-year-old journalism student at the University of Salford, Cecilia Kupera, won the Miss Zimbabwe UK crown on Saturday at the Hinckley Island Hotel near Leicester.
Kupera runs a magazine called Effuse which targets young people.
With her mum in the audience to support her, Kupera broke down in tears when she was announced the winner. It was also reward for her persistence after she took part in the pageant in 2013 without winning anything.
Ivy Bennett was crowned First Princess while Rutendo Glenda Mugadza was the Second Princess. The People’s Choice (based on online voting) went to Norma Ndebele while Letwin Chihoyi was voted Miss Photogenic.
Judges on the night included actress Demitria Karonga, radio presenter Love Jones, Blessing Rufaro, who mentored former Miss Malaika -Brita Masalethulini, actor Ashley Majaya and Miss Ghana-UK 2014 Eloise Anima Dickens.
Despite a poor crowd to the event, coordinator Simba Nyanhanga defended the decision to take the event to the Midlands telling Nehanda Radio “this is not Miss London, we have any obligation to take this event around the UK.”
Nyanhanga bemoaned the half-hearted response from the business community saying they had “lost the cause for corporate social responsibility” while others still had a negative stereotype towards anything to do with beauty pageants.
“When a lot of people look at these events they think we walk away with a lot of cash but the truth is we walk away with a lot of debt. But these events are necessary for the community thats why we organise them. The event though went beyond our expectations.”
The full album from the Miss Zimbabwe UK 2015 pageant