South Africa and Zimbabwe hosted the Mr. and Miss Albinism 2022 pageant in Harare on 27-31 August through the Albinism Dare to Dream campaign to create awareness and challenge stigmatization and discrimination against those persons with albinism.
Twenty five year old Angela Nokuthaba Dube from Bulawayo province went home with the Miss Albinism 2022 crown while Lordwin Rimire 21, from Midlands province was Mr. Albinism.
The first and second princes were Nthandoyenkosi Mnkandla and Don Kuswatuka while the first and second princesses titles were Brenda Mhlanga and Yolanda Gwabuya.
Miss Albinism, Dube, spoke to the media about the pageant being more than just a competition, rather described it as a platform to create awareness on albinism through modelling.
She went on to say that the participants interacted with each other, shared their stories, and acknowledged that despite their being different, they are still the same. They were trained in grooming, team spirit, and self-confidence.
The director of Miss Albinism Zimbabwe Trust, Brenda Chibvongodze Mudzimu, who is also an advocate for persons with albinism, was the organizer and coordinator of the event.
She got assistance from different South African countries’ sponsors. One of the sponsors was South Africa, which had its first pageant in 2021.
According to Mudzimu, reaching out to people was made easier by the availability and convenience of social media. She said that anyone from the age of 16 and above regardless of their marital status, could participate.
Nonetheless, it was a hectic process to work with other countries, overcoming financial challenges as well as language barrier. Mudzimu recalled how she could not understand one of the Equatorial Guinea Pageant organizers, who spoke about her on radio due to language differences.
One of the judges, Sasekani Masingi, from South Africa, described the experience as amazing. She got to travel and know everyone. In addition, she was glad to be part of the change in the albinism community.
A plan is underway to have an albinism ambassador who will travel around the globe to further albinism work and advocate for the protection of the rights of the albinism community.
BY CHRISTINE OMONDI