Confident 24-year-old Miss Curvy Harare, Tanya Chikuni, was on Saturday evening crowned Miss Curvy Zimbabwe at a colourful pageant held at the Platinum Lifestyle Lounge in Harare.
She managed to outshine 15 other curvaceous contestants drawn from all over the country and walked away with $1 000. She also won a return trip to Victoria Falls, two nights at any of the Rainbow Tourism Group hotels and free hairdos at Red Rose Hair salons for six months.
The first runner-up was 26-year-old Bekezela Mlalazi from Bulawayo and the second runner-up was 26-year-old Jacquie Mahaja from Harare.
Others who made it into the top 10 are Pretty Nyathi, Catty Chanetsa, Sharon Munetsi, Jacqueline Mashingaidze, Nomsa Ncube, Thobekile Mabhena and Nyasha Matonhodze.
The competition was not stiff as the top three were predictable during the question-and-answer section. Most of the contestants were either shy or shallow as their responses left a lot to be desired.
Chikuni, who was also a Miss Zimbabwe 2011 finalist, showed other contestants that she was an experienced model as she answered her question well.
She was the crowd’s favourite and people continuously shouted out her name and screamed whenever she got on stage.
Quality entertainment was provided by High Definition dance group and Toropito who gave comical news bulletins and kept audiences laughing.
DJ Flevah was not to be outdone as he mixed beats well on the decks and kept the crowd on their feet during the show intervals. A successful after-party was held at the Platinum Lounge.
Speaking to NewsDay after the event, an excited Chikuni thanked the organisers for hosting a pageant for big ladies.
“There is no word that can explain how I am feeling now. Finally I have found a pageant in which I can contest without having to worry much about my body. With Miss Curvy, you don’t have to force yourself to be a size zero to win,” she said.
A disappointed Mlalazi told NewsDay that she had high hopes to win.
“I expected to be somewhere on top there but anyway, the pageant is good for your self-esteem. I am happy to be the first princess, but I wanted to be the queen,” said Mlalazi.
Zimgossip Models director Mercy Mushaninga, who is also the organiser of Miss Curvy, said she decided to host the pageant after being inspired by curvaceous, generously built women who were interested in modelling.
“I was inspired by ladies such as Tanya. She is a very confident person who should have made it in the Miss Zimbabwe top three. I think it was because of her big body that she did not make it because international pageant standards favour slim ladies,” said Mushaninga.