I’ll raise the flag high — Malaika

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After representing the country exceptionally well at the Miss World finale last year, Miss Zimbabwe Malaika Mushandu has promised to fly the national flag high in Dortmund, Germany, on Saturday at the 19th Top Model of the World beauty pageant.

The beauty queen is this year’s envoy at the most prestigious modelling competition which saw Vanessa Sibanda (Miss Zimbabwe 2009) being crowned second runner-up. She will compete with 45 bevies for the most coveted title.

Mushandu promised to proudly represent the nation at the finale and asked Zimbabweans to support her when she walks on the ramp.

“I have done my part and now it’s time for us to join hands and finish the race as a nation. When I walk on that ramp, I will not be representing Malaika, but the whole country,” said Mushandu.

Washington Ali, Top Model of the World Zimbabwe director, said he hoped Malaika would return home with the trophy.

“It is our sincere hope that the sultry beauty queen will follow in the footsteps of Vanessa Sibanda and this time bring the trophy home. We thank Malaika for being a forward-thinker and a dedicated beauty queen,” said Ali.

In an exclusive interview with NewsDay, outgoing Top Model of the World Loredana Salanta (Romania) said those contesting on Saturday should be grateful for being given such an opportunity.

“The girls should be aware that contesting at Top Model of the World means they have a lot of potential because each country sends its best representative,” said Salanta.

“I think all of them should be proud of themselves because they had the opportunity to work with one of the best and most prestigious organisations in the world, World Beauty Organisation (WBO), who are the organisers.”

She added she would pursue her international modelling career after completing the Top Model reign.

“I am going to continue with my international modelling career, and hopefully have more successes than I had before. I think this is the beginning of my career as I’m only 19. I believe that many other great experiences lie ahead,” she said.

The Top Model of the World pageant is an international search for models that are talented and fashion-conscious. The pageant kicked off in 1993 and is an opportunity to share universal values and define a common ideal of elegance and beauty.