Senior Lifestyle Writer
As she walked down the ramp in Germany in 2015 at the Miss Intercontinental Africa pageant, memories of her successful story back home gave her hope.
She had been in the international limelight before and scooping the Miss Zimbabwe crown in 2014 had exhibited her capacity and potential to stand against all odds.
Although she had not made it to a higher level at Miss World when she represented Zimbabwe in London in 2014, she had the experience of the highest international platform of beauty.
She was there on the ramp as she competed against 61 other contestants from around the world. She had all that it took to stand against the best from countries that are renowned for taking the most prestigious crowns in the world.
At the end of the pageant, Tendai Hunda was the name called out to take the crown of the queen. She gracefully walked to the front. She was crowned as she made history.
It is an achievement that she still adores. It was the highest achievement of her career and this week she revisited the great achievement during an interview about her life and career.
She is no longer busy in the modelling industry, but she has many projects she is managing.
“I no longer do much of the modelling but I still have a pending show in Paris. It is going to be one of the biggest shows in my career. This is supposed to be my last show though. I am now into mentoring, grooming, training and nurturing other models. I have grown and learnt a lot. I should pave way for others. My last catwalk event was in China where I took part in Miss Model of the World. It was very exciting experience,” she said.
The bubbly 28-year-old model said Miss Zimbabwe opened doors and opportunities for her.
“Well, I never changed much after being crowned Miss Zimbabwe. I am still the girl next door. When I was crowned I was in my final year at the University of Zimbabwe studying Business Administration and that was deferred as I was focusing much on the reign and the Miss World preparations.
“I then went back to school in 2016 then I graduated in October that year. I can say my biggest achievement in my career has been the Miss Intercontinental Africa crown,” she said.
Hunda added that soon after graduating, she still maintained pursuit of her passion in pageantry.
“I started my fashion clothing line called ‘By Charis’, which means by God’s grace. Everything I have achieved came from God’s grace. I am a designer and have done a lot of garments and dressed some local celebrities. I have a modelling agency and modelling school as well,” she said.
The model said she does not have a role model in the fashion industry, but looks up to inspiration from her works and other successful women around her.
“Ordinarily, it would be expected of me to have a role model who is a model or somebody in the fashion fraternity but my role model is Zodwa Mkandla from Traverse, a phenomenal businesswoman.
“I adore her because of her integrity and how she challenges men. It is always good to see women in power, women who can claim authority. She works very hard and it drives me to be the best version of myself in my industry,” she said.
The model-cum-fashion designer said she was now romantically attached.
“I am in a serious relationship and I am committed, but I can’t give you the name of the guy I am dating now. It is not yet for public knowledge, but I am happy in my relationship.
“I can describe myself as a brand, a rare find and real definition of what a model is in relation to all the stereotypes that befall the industry. I am a wild beauty with brains. I am very comfortable in my influence and I love my space,” she said.
Hunda said she comes from a family of seven children — four boys and three girls.
“I grew up with my maternal grandparents. I was born in Milton Park and raised in Belvedere and later moved to Borrowdale. So after I won the Miss Zimbabwe, I used the money that I won to finish my schooling. While in United Kingdom, I bought a lot of stuff for myself and family. I also donated part of my money to charity,” she said.
“I think I am the luckiest person on earth. I do not go to the gym. I do not do much fitness activity because my body is naturally unique. I do not exercise that much.
“My natural body keeps me going. I have a good metabolism. I take after my mum and she has an extremely good shape. She is in her mid-50’s but if you bump into her you think she is in her 20s. I can say it is about genes, thanks to her,” she explained.
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