The Sunday News
Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
FOR 24-year-old Ireland-based Zimbabwean model, Blessing Mutamba, winning the Miss Ireland International was not only a personal achievement to be celebrated, it was something that gave her satisfaction and pride in her nationality as she dedicated the crown to her home country.
Born in a family of two girls Mutamba, originally from Mutare, moved to Ireland as a young girl.
She grew up in Ireland’s Guernsey area as her mother and elder sister live in London.
She went to Southampton Solent University where she got a first class honours degree in Creative Enterprise and now has a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at Falmouth University and works as an analyst at the International Stock Exchange.
A career in modelling has always been her wish and it came in the form of a global crown in 2019.
“I wanted to do community modelling and then came across pageantry. I gave it a try so I could use it for commercial modelling. I love talking, meeting people and developing myself and pageantry needs, one has to come out of her shell, be strong in communication and public speaking.
“My real attempt was in 2011 at the Miss Zim UK where I was the youngest contestant. I was overwhelmed and felt I should try other pageants. I went for Miss African Spirit UK and a few others because I felt there was something for me. It was after I contested in the Miss African Great Britain when I realised I could do it and entered the Miss Ireland International,” said Mutamba, in an interview in Victoria Falls during the week.
Mutamba is in the country for a homecoming tour where she is interacting with upcoming models in three towns — Victoria Falls, Harare and Mutare.
She said her vision is to use the crown to uplift and develop local models.
Mutamba said soon after becoming the queen, she was invited to the Zimbabwean Embassy in UK where she gave a speech in front of diplomats, making her the country’s ambassador.
“This crown will benefit the country as it is making me explain about Zimbabwe wherever I go. For instance, now I am in Victoria Falls where I marvelled visiting the Falls especially after hearing that they were drying up which is not the case. Each time I meet people anywhere in the world this will form part of my discourse.
“When I entered the Miss Ireland International pageant it was for fun not because I undermined the event but because I didn’t expect to win. Maybe that’s the reason why I won because I was relaxed. I wanted to do something in line with my beliefs; something I could support through my day-to-day life and now I am like an ambassador for my country,” said Mutamba.
She said as part of her projects, she started a programme of engaging Africans, including Zimbabweans living in the diaspora “to shift their minds by giving them a platform to connect with each other in their diversity.”
Her homecoming tour programme involves doing master classes for upcoming models and says she wants to make this a global platform where she can empower young girls through public speaking and comfortable space for dialogue.
Mutamba urged young models to work hard, be dedicated and be able to manage travelling schedules if they are to succeed in the industry.
“There is quality and potential in the Zimbabwe modelling industry hence we need to invest in modelling and pageantry. I want to leave a legacy for young people by coming up with infrastructure where they can access activities for personal development. Probably this could include coming up with a modelling agency.
“To youths my message is don’t compare yourself with anyone. We are all different. Always go with what feels right for you and don’t put pressure on yourself,” she said.
Mutamba has won World Face of the Month, featured as the cover model for GBG Magazine in December 2012, was a finalist in Face of Models United 2009 and have won awards such as Miss African Spirit Most Photogenic, Miss Collegiate Ireland 1st Runner Up and was in the top 10 for Miss Zimbabwe UK 2011.