Newly-crowned Miss UZ aims high

Tafadzwa Zimoyo

Senior Arts Reporter

Newly-crowned Miss University 2020 Ayanda Candice Sibanda said she now aims  to participate in a bigger and international pageant to develop her career.

Sibanda beat 14 other finalists to land the coveted title and walked away with prize money, vouchers and hampers from different sponsors.

The 20-year-old law student was crowned at a pageant held online, hosted by Nash TV in conjunction with the university, where Kimberly Chigubu was crowned the first princess and Tinewimbo Dupute came second.


Sailing flawless during the question and answer, Sibanda was asked, “What makes up a person’s identity?”

The bubbly model answered; “What makes up a person’s identity is their values and I value representation. I stand here as the first woman living with albinism to compete for Miss UZ and that is representation and I believe my presence here will push others to do the same. Women should be able to compete for such a prestigious award besides their disability or difference”.

In an interview, Sibanda who started from bottom after last year, took part in the Miss Teen Zimbabwe and came second. Now her dream is to compete for the Miss Zimbabwe World pageant.

“It is my wish to walk the Miss Zimbabwe ramp one day and get the opportunity to represent my country on a bigger platform like Miss Universe or Miss World. I understand that Miss UZ is a big platform and I wanted the opportunity to be part of a legacy of young women who used their voice to advocate for positive change in society through the Miss UZ platform. I made history by becoming the 12th Miss UZ and I say to girls, refuse to be defined by someone else’s opinion of what’s possible. The power is in your hands,” she said.

Sibanda said her role model was Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo, because she stood up for what she wanted and believed in.

“My role model is former Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo who competed for her national title three times to get the opportunity to go to Miss Universe. To me she embodies a passionate, resilient, hard-working woman who never let obstacles get in her way.

“I have been a professional model for four years and I was trained by Open Eye Studio Modelling agency owned by Samantha Tshuma, he 2010 Miss Zimbabwe. I have worked with different modelling gurus like Hillary Indi and it was an amazing experience to work with Mary Yuki Mundeya this year.”

Sibanda said the modelling sector can grow if there is unity among all relative parties.

“If we work together. Nothing can beat the power of unity. We need to unite as a nation, not just the modelling sector, for it to develop further.

“One thing people need to understand is that modelling is a profession that attracts an audience and should be respected and taken seriously.


“We need to unite and have one goal, and not to compete against each other,” she said.