BULAWAYO - With big dreams and confidence, Thandinkosi Sibanda, a stunning local model who is deaf, recently defied the odds and contested alongside other fully able-bodied beauties in the Miss Cultural Zimbabwe pageant held at Horizon Pub.
The 21-year-old beauty turned many heads through a flawless performance and finished as a finalist ahead of a bevy of other beauties.
The tittle, held on May 26, saw Zandile Ncube becoming Miss Cultural, with Amanda Nyoni and Anita Kubi as the First and second Princesses respectively.
"It felt really great contesting for the first time against models who are not living with my condition. I performed the same way as other contestants, with the only difference being that the others could hear while I could not," said Sibanda.
Iconic Model founder and Miss Cultural Zimbabwe organiser, Nilton Makazhu praised Sibanda as a remarkable model with vast talent.
"For the first time, Miss Cultural has had a model living with a disability and she turned out to be impressively good. She has a bright future in front of her," said Makazhu.
The immaculate Sibanda began her modelling career only this year when she contested at the Miss Deaf Zimbabwe Pageant in March where she was crowned Miss Personality.
Inspired by the television show Project Runway on Fashion TV, she has now set her sights on the fashion industry and is working to begin her studies in that area.
Her family and friends, especially sibling Bonginkosi and friend Leona Nyarota have been supportive of her dreams and passion.
She hopes to support the modelling industry for people living with disabilities and help other deaf models live their dreams.
"I would like to see more beauty pageants for the deaf taking place in the country and see their modelling industry grow," Sibanda said.local