History has been made as Zimbabwe marked a spot at this year’s edition of the Miss Universe, to be held in El Salvador, Central America, in two months.
After many setbacks, a new queen was crowned. At the glamorous Harare Hippodrome theatre on Saturday, 21-year-old beautician Brooke Bruk Jackson won the beauty pageant, reviving it.
In November, Jackson defeated 11 other contestants to represent the country at Miss Universe.
Her huge prizes included a US$ 10,000 cash prize from Style by Minnie, a trip to Victoria Falls from the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Ministry, a one-year contract with Hilz Couture, a spa treatment from Essentials by Tanya, two years of accommodation from West Properties, beauty products from Langa Cosmetics, air tickets to and from Central America from Traverze, Optimas Photography’s photoshoot contract, and the latest Apple products.
Many pageant sponsors will use Jackson as their brand ambassador. Nokutenda Marumbwa, a Chegutu model and former Miss University of Zambia first-runner-up, was the first princess, while Amanda Ziyambi Mpofu was the second.
After winning, Jackson told The Herald she was stunned because this was her first time in pageantry.
“I am proud to be Zimbabwean,” she remarked. I’m shocked and amazed. Overwhelmed. I’m excited to rule Zimbabwe in El Salvador this year. I’ve modeled and traveled the world in Cape Town, but this is my first pageant.”
Jackson works as a beauty therapist in Harare and hasn’t considered what to do with her award money.
“It was unexpected, so I need time to process. She said she is a beauty spa therapist.
The judges’ standards were met by the 21-year-old model, the crowd’s favorite and tallest.
A close insider said she fared well at boot camp.
Jackson performed beautifully during the question and answer part, greeting her fans and judges in Shona, “Manheru akanaka Zimbabwe,” to the joy of many.
She asked, “What is your biggest fear?”
She said: “Not changing lives is my biggest concern. I want anybody who enters my life to be inspired and changed by my heart, not my appearance.”
After winning, many wanted to know more; she was immediately popular on social media.
“My life roles and duties have changed, but I have not changed as a person,” Jackson remarked. “I am still Brooke Bruk Jackson, who has grown on this journey so far, and I can’t wait to be an ambassador for our beautiful nation, serve our people, represent our country internationally, and inspire Zimbabwe’s youth that anything is possible.”
First Lady Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa said she was pleased with Miss Universe Zimbabwe’s revival in a speech by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s wife, Miniyothabo Baloyi-Chiwenga.
“It took us 20 years to return to this pageant, giving our girls a chance to show off their inner and outer beauty and our national beauty,” she remarked.
“Thanks to Tendai Hunda, a beautiful girl who pursued her goal, Zimbabweans are stronger and more motivated than ever. Her determination and thanks are immensely appreciated. The winner of this pageant will represent themselves and Zimbabwe.”
Dr. Mnangagwa said beauty pageants should not be understood as beauty contests.
“There’s more to it than beauty and validity,” she remarked. “What happens today (Saturday) at this event will spur innovation, intelligence, and leadership.
“I think women should be beautiful with a purpose. She stated women should move mountains and shake their fields.
“We’re thrilled to return to this show with Zimbabwean girls, as this event has a global impact. We embrace them and support them always. As First Lady of Zimbabwe, I am a strong supporter of girl child empowerment, and this pageant fits my mission to help young women succeed.”
She stated it lets girls show off their talent, brains, and beauty.
“This pageant supports my girl child empowerment advocacy and Vision 2030 for Zimbabwe,” stated Dr. Mnangagwa.
“It illuminates our country’s development potential by providing young ladies with education and work. The winner will represent Zimbabwe as a brand spokesperson. They will promote Zimbabwe’s beauty.”
Radio and television hosts Tich Mawoni and Becky K supervised the show and apologized to the audience for the late start owing to technical issues.
Luis Munana (Zambian), Zodwa Mkandla, Pokelo Nare, Joana Sharpe, former Miss Universe Zimbabwe Langa Sibanda, Simbarashe Chinyemba, and Karin Davis were the high-profile judges.
We can’t forget DJ Iroq, who thrilled the crowd with his all-ages setlist. Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Nutty O, Diamond Musica, and Enzo Ishall shined at the occasion.
Before the night, songstress Ammara Brown, who featured on the poster, informed her followers that she was in Johannesburg and would not attend. At the last minute, the “Mukoko” singer asked the organizers to remove her photo from the posters, calling it deceptive advertising.