Until last Saturday, Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2010 Samantha Tshuma was studying marketing at college and working part time at her father’s petrol station in Bulawayo’s Bellevue suburb. Now the face of Zimbabwe, she will have to adjust to a new life in the public spotlight. In this interview, Tshuma speaks about her new role as Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and about how last Saturday was a dream come true.

Born: January 2, 1990
Home Town: Bulawayo, originally from Plumtree

QUESTION: How much has winning Miss Tourism Zimbabwe changed you?
ANSWER: It’s difficult to say, but I know I have succeeded. It has been a dream of mine to win this crown, it’s a tremendous honour. It means so much to me. I had my cousins and my aunt in attendance and when I won, and news reached my mother in Bulawayo, she fainted. It’s a great deal to me and my family.I have met many great people that I never imagined will come my way and in that regard, you can say things have changed. Otherwise I’m still the same Samantha from Bulawayo, only that I have taken a step forward.I have succeeded.

Q: How confident were you of winning?
A: I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out. I was quietly confident because I have studied what other people are doing and learnt from that ... the way they talk, walk ... I have tried to perfect it.
So I told myself beforehand that I’m moving with my God, whatever happens.
When we went into camp I shared a room with Chido Mashaya, who was my first princess. From the very first day I met her, she said ‘you are the queen, the rest of us are fighting to be your princesses’. That stuck with me. The first time I stepped out, the crowd was screaming and that gave me so much confidence.

Q: When did you develop an interest in beauty pageants?
A: I have always had a passion for modelling. Miss Tourism Zimbabwe is my 14th title. I am the reigning Miss Tourism Bulawayo and have done other pageants including Miss Evelyn High School, Miss Zimbabwe Colleges, Miss Bulawayo Junior and Miss Culture Queen.

Q: Previous winners of the national pageant have picked certain charities to work with during their reign. Have you chosen yours?
A: I have been doing my bit as Miss Bulawayo. I have been helping an orphanage in Plumtree which has 105 kids. I have organised fund-raising events and donated clothes and food. It’s an ongoing project which is very close to my heart.
I have also been inspired by a man called Lameck Kamusuka who has spent the last 20 years hospitalised at the United Bulawayo Hospitals after suffering a spinal injury while playing rugby. He has finished writing a book, Life After Spinal Injury, which I intend to help him launch.
I am also looking for sponsors to launch a Lameck Kamusuka Rugby Tournament for primary schools as well as a Miss Lamusuka beauty pageant. Lameck is a very strong individual. He has been enclosed in one place for the last 20 years but he has moved on. His story keeps me going, I’m really attached to him.

Q: Would you cook for your husband or leave that to the maid?
A: I like cooking, so I would rather do it. I’m sure my husband would rather I do it. We can have our 50:50 thing going, but I believe that cooking is a woman’s duty. Of course he can cook for us from time to time if he chooses, but your husband loves it when you cook, and when the food comes from you. It’s a loving thing to do.

Q: What were you like at school?
A: I attended Evelyn and Empandeni High Schools and my passion was singing. I enjoyed singing in a choir and was a sports captain. I was a long distance runner but had to stop due to chest problems. I was also in the scripture union and a member of the drum majorettes.

Q: What was your worst job ever?
A: Maybe it’s yet to come. I just take anything as it comes. If God says ‘do this’, I will take it up and enjoy it at that point in time.

Q: Who is your inspiration and why?
A: It’s not just one person. I am inspired by all the models that keep going despite the stigmatisation, the branding and labelling that comes with it. You need to be a strong character to do modelling, I wish people would try and find out how models really feel.

We give people entertainment, and yet people don’t consider us. They turn around and say models are this and that. So I am inspired by all the models that rise up despite the discrimination.

Q: What do you know for sure about life?
A: Life is a struggle, and our challenge is to learn how to live with that reality, and whatever comes with it. Today you can hear that someone close is dead, there is nothing you can do. Just accept it and move on. That’s life, a struggle!

Q: What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
A: I’m a perfectionist, and hate to see things out of order. I sometimes walk into people’s houses or bedrooms and find things not in order, like their wall hangings, perfumes and so on. I develop this itching to fix that. It’s so bad that when I am in someone’s car and see things out of place I start trying to fix it. I walk into your office and I start rearranging your papers ... yet I don’t even know what they are supposed to be like. I am a stickler for order.

Q: What’s your favourite movie?
A: I’m not a movie person, but I would go for musicals or comedy movies. My father is obsessed with Denzel Washington so much so he wanted to name my young brother after him. The whole family said he can’t do it because all our names start with an ‘S’, and what does he do? He names my brother Stenzel!

Q: What are you most afraid of?
A: I have a phobia for crawling insects and sticky things, like leeches. Just thinking of leeches makes my hair stand up. Can we go to the next question please?

Q: Can you describe yourself in three words?
A: Vibrant, Loving, Phenomenal.

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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