On Friday, May 24, a 21-year-old fitness trainer Edson Mambinge and 18-year-old model Ayanda Sibanda beat several other contestants to win the 2019 Mr and Miss Albinism Zimbabwe.
Organized in a bid to do away with the discrimination that people living with albinism face day in and out, the pageant marked a successful second edition with the introduction of Mr. Albinism Zimbabwe.
In a country where almost 70,000 people living with albinism, it is fascinating to know that many people either still fear albinism or treat people with the condition with disdain while a smaller percentage still believe that their skin could cure diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
In a 3-day boot camp, the contestants went through several training programs and were given tasks prior to the finale on May 24 which added up to their marks and saw the new queen and king come out as winners.
Speaking to the press, the 18-year-old Miss Albinism Ayanda Sibanda who won her second crown this year (she was crowned the second princess of Miss Teen Zimbabwe in April) said she had lost several other pageants due to her skin condition confessing that she has been called yellow or white all her life but identifies as a proud black young woman.
Thrilled about the reception the pageant has received this year, the organizer of the event, Ms. Mudzimu stated that the event has been a challenge proving difficult to pull off due to lack of sponsorship and interest of potential investors and even the media.
She added that she hoped this year’s event would tickle their interest and push them to invest as much as they invest in the ‘so-called normal pageants’.
As winners, Miss Albinism gets to travel to Botswana to attend a confidence-building and women’s workshop while Mr. Albinism will travel to South Africa for a grooming session. The winners also walked away with cash prizes and new phones.