Zimbabwean born Vimbai Chapungu has been crowned Miss London 2019 and is noted to be the first black woman to hold the title.
A Masters student 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 Dec. 14.
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.
Her Master’s 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 normalization 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”.