Rising model Fungai Beulla Muchenje left for Malaysia on Thursday with high hopes of doing the nation proud at this year’s edition of the Miss Cosmopolitan World.

At the pageant, the 26-year-old freelance model and karateka will battle for honours with 29 other models from around the globe, with the winner inheriting the crown from Miss Indonesia Sheryltha Pratyscha, who was crowned the queen last year at the pageant’s grand finale held at Putrajaya Marriott Hotel.

Muchenje told NewsDay Weekender Life & Style before her departure that she was excited to be representing her country at the prestigious global showcase.

“I want to thank my family, especially my mother Naome Muchenje, for the support. She has always believed in me and always encourages me to go for my passion. I salute Miss Letwin Tatenda Tiwaringe, the national director for Miss Cosmopolitan World Zimbabwe, for believing in me and giving me a chance to go and represent my beautiful country in Asia,” she said.

“I am also grateful to my etiquette lessons coach Mercy ‘Catwalk’ Mushaninga and my karate instructor Sensei Tatenda Munyukwi. I will be out to display all this in Malaysia as I represent my country.”

Muchenje said apart from her dream to be a force to reckon with in the business world, she has a passion for charity work where she intends to start a foundation for the physically challenged and less-privileged people who she said must be accorded the right to equal privileges just like their able-bodied counterparts.

The pageants she has participated in include Miss Schools and Colleges Mashonaland West (2006), where she was crowned the queen, Miss Schools and Colleges Chitungwiza (2011) and Miss Harare Junior (2011) where she was the first princess.

She was also crowned First Princess and Miss Personality at Miss Face of Kariba (2014) before clinching the crown at the Miss Summer Archies (2014) pageant.

In 2016, she qualified to represent the nation at Top Model World Wide in London, but failed to travel due to examinations.

Born and bred in Hwange, Muchenje is a second daughter in a family of three boys and three girls.

The national director for Miss Cosmopolitan World Zimbabwe, Tiwaringe, yesterday said it was a great honour for Muchenje to participate at the pageant, as she would get the exposure to work with international photographers and make-up artists.

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