MISS World Zimbabwe Hajirah Belinda Potts said the opportunity to cat-walk on the esteemed Miss World ramp in Sanya, China, on Saturday, was an eye opener that has brought worldwide experience relating to the modelling industry and her modelling career.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The 21-year-old Potts was the country’s representative when she battled for the coveted global crown with 122 other beauties at the grand finale of the 68th edition of Miss World.
This year’s Miss World 2018 crown went to Vanessa Ponce de Leon of Mexico, while Miss World Africa’s crown was conferred to Quiin Abenkyo of Uganda, Miss World America went to Panama, with Miss World Asia being scopped by Thailand, while Miss World Caribbean was bestowed on Jamaica.
In an interview with NewsDay Life &Style yesterday, ahead of her departure to Harare today, Potts said although she had failed at least to change the 1994 history set by her compatriot Angeline Musasiwa (only Zimbabwean queen who ever made it into the top five at the Miss World finals), she was optimistic of succeeding in her local projects.
“I didn’t make it at the Miss World, sadly. I am sorry to disappoint you guys, especially after the maximum love you showed and the votes you put for me. I had put my whole heart out to this pageant, representing myself and most importantly, my beautiful country,” she said.
“Miss World has brought adventure. It has taught me to be composed and also to appreciate that one must not be a sore loser when it comes to a competition, as it means there is a time and season for everyone and that confidence is built the minute one wakes up.”
Potts said she was looking forward to a great future, enriched by the connections she had made with the multi-racial delegates at the pageant.
“It was a great experience to work under pressure and still carry out two responsibilities, my country’s name and also stand as an international ambassador for the African continent as well as the world,” she said.
The beauty queen said while language was a major barrier that brought the worst experience to her, as she was unable to communicate with the French and non-English communities, everything else was a great learning experience that she enjoyed and gained much from.
Potts said she was grateful to God and the Miss Zimbabwe Trust committee for giving her the opportunity to represent the nation at such an esteemed global pageant.
“I tried all my best to raise the Zimbabwean flag as high as I possibly could, with dignity and grace. My greatest fear was to disappoint the people who believed in me, mostly my family and Mrs Marry Chiwenga, the license holder of Miss World Zimbabwe who has been so supportive since the day I began my reign,” she said.
“She (Chiwenga) has groomed me, such that I can always quote her words that one can never stop learning new things everyday and I have learnt a great deal from her. This was my first time out of Africa and China is the furthest I have been away from home.”
Meanwhile, young Zimbabwean star Donel Mangena, who rose to fame during The Voice UK singing competition, charmed the audience as he performed at the pageant.
The 17-year-old star who sang his hit-single, Bang Like a Drum, told a presenter at the pageant that he was blessed to be performing at such an international event.
“I am actually excited, it is pretty big for Zimbabwe, not many people are known from Zimbabwe. It is pretty cool for me to be here, for Miss World Zimbabwe to be here, just representing our home nation,” he said.