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Preps begin for Mr, Miss Albinism Zim

THE organisers of Mr and Miss Albinism Zimbabwe have begun preparations for the fourth edition of the pageant which is scheduled to take place later this year.

Former University of Zimbabwe student Shane Lawrence is the reigning Miss Albinism Zimbabwe while 21-year-old Great Zimbabwe University student, Leeroy Gondo is the current Mr Albinism Zimbabwe.

Pageant director and founder Brenda Mudzimu told the Daily News the impressive strides registered by the annual event since its formation in 2018 had motivated her team to aim for a much bigger edition.

“We began the pageant in 2018 in Harare with the objective of raising awareness on issues around albinism. We are very happy about what the pageant has achieved since then.

“Since the pageant started, we have been invited to different social platforms — both in Zimbabwe and abroad — to share our story thanks to the popularity of the pageant,” the pageant director Mudzimu said.

She expects many sponsors and partners to support the event this year.

“It was all difficult for us at first but we are glad sponsors are coming on board to support and grow the vision. Last year we had a number of them, with Fastjet being the star sponsor,” she said.

The pageant director and founder praised rising dancehall artiste Nutty O for working with models living with albinism.

“Former Miss Albinism Zimbabwe Ayanda Sibanda, a law student at the University of Zimbabwe, did a great job on Nutty O’s  Be My Girl. By doing so, she helped to raise awareness on albinism issues,” she said.

With about 70 000 of Zimbabwe’s estimated 16 million people born with albinism, according to government figures, the organisers believe the pageant is a useful platform  to fight discrimination and stigma surrounding the condition.

In some parts of the continent, people living with albinism are hunted down for superstitious reasons. 

In recent years, their killings were reported in Malawi, Burundi and Tanzania, according to Amnesty International.