Outstanding 23-year-old Miss Zimbabwe 2011 finalist, Tanya Chikuni, was on Saturday evening crowned Miss Curvy Harare at an event which was held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
She beat 18 other curvaceous contestants drawn from around Harare and walked away with $500.
First runner-up was Jaqueline Mahaja and second runner-up was Sharon Munetsi. Others who made it into the top 10 are Patience Jubane, Daphney Steinbridge, Robin Rahman, Daniella Casmiro, Ebbah Muza, Jaqueline Mashingaidze and Valerie Kondo. All these will contest for the Miss Curvy Zimbabwe pageant which will be held at the HICC on October 29.
Competition was stiff as most contestants were socialites, but Chikuni played popular among the crowds as they continuously shouted out her name and screamed whenever she got on stage.
The event was well attended by various people including reigning Miss Zimbabwe, Malaika Mushandu and Miss Face of Zimbabwe, Kimberly Cole amongst other models.
An after party was held at the Stars club. Speaking to NewsDay after the event, Chikuni thanked the organisers for hosting a pageant for hugely-built ladies.
“Finally I have found my pageant, a pageant which I can contest in without having to worry much about my weight.
“Most events in Zimbabwe are for the slim and slender girls and I am naturally not a small girl,” she said.
She added that she had been trying to lose weight to qualify for most pageants, but she never got far as the slim and slender models would be crowned.
Zimgossip Models director Mercy Mushaninga, who is also the organiser of Miss Curvy, said she decided to host the pageant after being inspired by curvy women who were interested in modelling.
“I was inspired by ladies such as Tanya. Tanya is a very confident person who should have made it in the Miss Zimbabwe top three but due to her curvy body, she could not because of international standards which want small ladies,” said Mushaninga.
She added that African women should be appreciated the way they were and more pageants for curvy people were needed.
“Being curvy has been like having a disability for most women who are into modelling as they could not contest in most pageants,” said Mushaninga.
This weekend, casting will be held in Bulawayo and five ladies will be selected to represent that city at the national finals.