HARARE – Miss Deaf Zimbabwe will bounce back on Saturday at Longcheng Plaza in Harare after a four-year hiatus.
According to pageant organiser and founder Madeline Yohane, 14 girls will participate in the beauty contest.
“We were initially targeting 20 girls between 17 and 30 but in the end we got 14.
“The Miss Deaf Zimbabwe pageant is an important platform which seeks to show that deaf girls and other physically-challenged people can fully participate in various events and activities if they are given a chance,” Yohane said.
The Miss Deaf Zimbabwe organiser told the Daily News that the beauty contest was returning to the national scene against a backdrop of serious financial challenges.
“We did some fundraising activities to raise the necessary resources to hold the pageant and we are happy to say several sponsors came on board. We are, however, still short of our target.
“We failed to hold the pageant over the last four years due to lack of resources and sponsorship. Even at this late stage, we still hope more sponsors will come on board to support this worthy initiative,” she said.
The last winner of the Miss Deaf Zimbabwe crown was Kuda Mapeture who landed two continental titles at the Miss Deaf Africa 2016 held in Cape Town, South Africa in July last year.
The bubbly Mapeture scooped the first princess and Miss Deaf Photogenic Africa titles at the event which was won by Miss Deaf South Africa Cirsty Greeff, who also took home the Miss Deaf Personality accolade. Miss Deaf Botswana Kemmolye Ke Raetswe was the second princess.
Four years ago, the trailblazing Mapeture made it into the top 10 at the 2013 Miss and Mr Deaf World Pageant held in Prague in the Czech Republic.
In an interview with the Daily News last year, she underscored the importance of raising awareness about deaf people to the general populace.
“People have to be aware of what deaf people can do, the challenges they face and the importance of equality.
“My success is important to deaf girls because I am their role model. They can learn to be confident about themselves and to stand for themselves and not to be afraid of doing what they want in life,” she said then.