The Sunday News
Sithatshisiwe Gwaza, Sunday News Reporter
TWENTY ONE year-old, National University of Science and Technology (Nust) student, Jemima Mandemwa was last week crowned Miss Earth Zimbabwe 2021 by Miss Earth Zimbabwe Trust board of directors.
With Covid-19 restrictions in place that made it impossible to hold a physical competition, the Miss Earth organisation’s directors in the Philippines then settled on Mandemwa, after a virtually screening process of contestants who had been to international competitions.
“I represented Zimbabwe in 2019’s Dubai Miss Super Globe and I was the first runner up. The board then shortlisted me for the Miss Earth Zimbabwe virtual screening process. After that, I attended a press conference where I had to articulate what I would do as the newly crowned queen,” she said in an interview.
Mandemwa has secured 10 modeling titles in both pageantry and runway from as young as six years old, rising to greater heights in 2019, when she bagged four pageantry tittles in the same year.
“Each and every pageant has its own cause and it needs different people. I would have loved to walk on stage and battle it out with other contestants, but due to the Covid- 19 pandemic this wasn’t possible and also, Zimbabwe was a bit behind in terms of preliminaries, therefore online screening and virtual conferences were the appropriate options.”
The Miss Earth Zimbabwe queen said her major focus will be on the environment and the girl child advocacy. Mandemwa told Sunday Life that she has an online platform, let’s talk green Zimbabwe, which reaches different people with environmental advocacy.
“I have a tree planting programme that I am also working on with schools. So basically my project is on inclusive education,” she said.
She added that the girl child advocacy was influenced her own life story.
“When I was young I had challenges in accepting myself because of how tall I am, so I like to preach on body positivity and being outstanding.”
This year’s international crowning event of Miss Earth 2021 is expected to be on 21 November, with at least 80 countries battling it out for four titles. Prior to the crowning day, there will be preliminary competitions running through the whole of October, and these will consist of the talent, swim wear, long gown competition, amongst others. The international competition will be held virtually, aired on the Miss Earth’s social media platforms.