I was bullied over my height: Ex-model

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Langelihle Sibanda

BY GARY GERALD MTOMBENI
FORMER Miss Universe Zimbabwe title holder and entrepreneur Langelihle Sibanda yesterday told Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) chairman Trevor Ncube that she suffered bullying due to her height with some people calling her “Giraffe”, “Ostrich” and other derogatory names.

Sibanda revealed her struggles during an In Conversation with Trevor episode, where she opened up about several challenges that she faced as a woman.

“Sometimes, I would go to the ladies room and women would panic thinking that a boy had walked in. Some would come and touch my cheeks and say: ‘he is so cute’. Those things were very uncomfortable and if I did not have strong parents they would have affected me,” Sibanda
said.

Despite the challenges, Sibanda said her life later changed for the better as she won the Miss Universe title in 1996 and is now a successful female entrepreneur.

Sibanda narrated an incident which happened in Harare where two Ndebele-speaking women describing her as skinny.

“They went on about how thin and skinny I was, saying I probably came from a country affected by hunger.  They laughed as they talked about me, not knowing that I was a Ndebele speaker. That day, I was with my sister-in-law.  When we got to the till, I then spoke in Ndebele and one of them was shocked and ran away, while the other stood by and kept apologising to me.”

Sibanda said despite criticism, she never stopped striving to achieve her goals.

She became a model and the people who used to criticise her looks, saw her on international pageants and on television. Her life changed as critics began to admire her, describing her as a tall beautiful woman.

“Suddenly I became elegant — a butterfly that started off as a caterpillar.  Things changed and as I look at my story, it teaches one that you are not going to be the best version of yourself if you don’t accept who you are first. People made me feel like I was not worthy,” Sibanda said.

lFollow the whole conversation on YouTube channel In Conversation with Trevor