Zimbabwean born becomes the first black woman to hold Miss London title

Vimbai Chapungu
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VIMBAI CHAPUNGU was crowned Miss London 2019 in June and is noted to be the first black woman to hold the title. Currently studying a Masters in Geography at a top university in London, Vimbai has a passion for learning about the world and the people in it. She hopes to use her platform to raise awareness about development issues and hopes to empower communities.
Vimbai, aged 24, recently took part in the Miss England Final held in Newcastle where the contestants underwent everything from a Sports Round and Talent Round to an eco wear round and even a general knowledge quiz. She qualified as one of the 50 finalists out of other 20,000 women that entered this year’s competition.

The winner was Bhasha Mukherjee, a 23-year-old junior doctor from Derby, who will now go on to compete at Miss World which is this year being held in London on December 14th.

As the first Black woman to have the Miss London title, Vimbai took advantage of this by wearing her natural hair during the Miss England finals to highlight natural beauty to the audience, where she was placed in the top 3 of 55 for the bare faced model title. In fact, her Masters thesis is about the Natural Hair Movement, which is a social phenomenon that seeks to empower Black women to wear their hair in its natural state, as opposed to chemically processing/relaxing their hair which has adverse health issues.

She also highlights in her dissertation, the negative connotations regarding natural hair in institutions, stating “Black hair is still being policed in today’s society, and it is only now that people are talking about it, thanks to the few women who have fought for the normalisation of natural hair”.

Vimbai is also a co-director of a charity known as Blessed to ReachOut – which is currently working on a school-feeding programme and dormitory building project here in Zimbabwe. She hopes the children around the world have better access to education as “the most important thing is to provide a better chance for every child to make a difference in the world in his or her own way”.

Vimbai will be supporting various charities and NGOs and she asks for everyone’s support during her time as Miss London. “This title is not just my own, but it is for everyone who shares the same vision. London boasts approximately 8 million inhabitants, 270 nationalities and 300 languages. Therefore the vision is to better represent and empower people to be the best they can be,” she states.

Away from the catwalk, Vimbai worked with classical music during her time in high school and sixth form and achieved grades 3 and 5 in singing. She decided to pursue a different path and was discovered by a music manager and mentor, where they created music together of a jazz / pop nature.

For updates on Vimbai’s journey visit her Instagram page @vimbaimchapungu OR facebook page www.facebook.com/misslondon2019/

Source – agencies