BY AGATHA CHUMA
REIGNING Miss Ecotourism Zimbabwe queen, Yeukai Evelyn Gumbo (23) says she is committed to using modelling as a vehicle to teach society about environment issues.
To achieve this, she has joined hands with Sustainable Climate Action Trust (Scat).
Gumbo, who is studying towards an honours degree in Geography and Environment, believes society needs to play a serious role to save Mother Earth.
“My interest in modelling dates back to 2014 when I was just 15 years old. I managed to sign with Size 4 Modelling Agency in 2018 when I was doing my Advanced Level studies.
“But then I had to drop modelling the same year because this was not balancing well with school. As someone with a passion for modelling, I revived my career about three years later after my sister encouraged me to do so.
“Though it was not easy convincing them, I worked extra hard to balance both school and modelling and with support and guidance it worked out well.
“My passion for fashion and the creativity that circulates in the industry were the major driving forces, which has kept me pushing for this industry.
“I can best describe myself as a lady bursting with creativity, full of curiosity for the ‘out of ordinary’ stuff, passionate about my talents and blessed with the ability to embrace people’s differences.
“The diverse creativity of the world of modelling, which awakens my imagination, has been the source of inspiration to venture into pageantry.
Duties for Scat
“Promoting a litter-free environment, practising reusing, recycling and reducing the amount of waste thrown away.
“I engage with my community in practising these duties so that we keep our area clean before moving to other towns.
“I have also taken the campaign to social media so as to encourage others in different towns to practise the same in their communities and not to simply wait for national clean-up days. This should be the norm.
“The Sustainable Climate Action Trust has and is still teaching me more on the appropriate methods of looking after our environment.
“Like any other model, I have been bombarded with the demoralising stigma that models are immoral people. But I fight this always through standard and transparent channels like every model should to protect themselves and their names.
“My goals as a model are to feature on billboards as well as to clinch ambassadorship for both local and international companies.
“I wish to bear the name that defines modelling for those who seek to understand it through vivid examples.
Lessons learnt through modelling
“I have learnt plenty of skills, from general etiquette to actual life lessons. Most importantly, I have learnt to be stubborn with my dream, to identify and chase with all my might for things that I want.
“I have also learnt to grab opportunities and maximise them in all aspects and to fully appreciate myself and my capabilities.”
“Winning the Face of Lockdown 2020 crown marked my first triumph as I went on to clinch the Miss Winter Zimbabwe 2021, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Miss Ecotourism Zimbabwe 2022.
“I have featured in magazines, Reel Magazine, Model Guide Magazine and Slim Entertainment Magazine.
“As the reigning Miss Ecotourism Zimbabwe, I promise to give my very best if I qualify to represent our nation in South Africa. Also, to give my all in the fight for the Miss Ecotourism World crown and in safeguarding our environment through ecotourism.
“I enjoy reading novels, spending time with friends, watching documentaries and designing as well as sewing my own outfits.
“I have also developed a liking for everything environmental. It has now become a norm for me to pick up litter when I am free and also to follow environmental programmes.
“My advice to up-and-coming models is to complement and ask yourself the question: If not me, then who? You will be surprised how far this self-affirmation will take you, just like how it has helped me to come this far and I am still going.
“Modelling is a short-lived career, so one must not wait to get everything in place, start now and do your best with whatever you have.”
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