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November 1, 2002

Deaf and dumb girls enter beauty pageant

From: Harare Daily Newspaper, Zimbabwe
Nov. 1, 2002

From Amanda Bango in Bulawayo

FOUR deaf and dumb King George schoolgirls will make history tomorrow night when they participate in Bulawayo’s $500 000 Miss Summer Strides beauty contest at the Holiday Inn.

Loretta Ncube, 18, Debra Maziriri, 16, Chengetai Musvaburi, 18, and Thatcher Ngulube, 14, are all geared up for the big occasion.

“We have been sidelined for too long, and by participating in the beauty contest we want to show people that we are capable of achieving anything,” Ncube said through an interpreter.

Ncube is currently doing a business diploma course at a Bulawayo college.
Musvaburi was the first princess in a beauty contest held at King George School last year. Maziriri was second princess.

Ngulube said they sometimes had problems communicating with other people, but had surmounted that hurdle through lip-reading.

Sipho Ncube Mazibuko, the organiser of the Miss Summer Strides pageant, said this year she had decided to widen the competition to include girls from rural

A total 43 girls will participate in the semi-finals tomorrow. Twenty contestants will make it to the finals scheduled for 30 November at the same venue.

But the semi-finals won’t be easy as the models take the ramp for a berth in the finals. Portia Ncube, Nontokhozo Tshuma, Tamerin Jardine, Faith Nyathi, Lorraine Maphala, Karen Mkithika, Colleen Chingonzo and Alexandra Sedgewick have been tried and tested in past pageants. Eunice Gwisai won the inaugural contest last year. The competition was launched last year by Mazibuko, the owner of Strides Boutique and herself a former beauty queen.

Mazibuko also launched the Miss Winter Strides competition whose inaugural winner was the vivacious Tumelo Noko.

History has proved that disability does not necessarily mean inability, as shown by American actress Halle Berry who was once crowned Miss America and won an Oscar this year. She is diabetic and partially deaf.

© 2002 Harare Daily Newspaper