Byo model takes industry by storm Yolanda Chimusoro

Valerie Mpundu

BULAWAYO-BRED model, Yolanda Chimusoro, is making a bold statement in Harare. She indeed came from the city of kings and of course queens, to conquer and not to bow.

Yo-Yoh, as she is affectionately known, had never imagined herself on the runway, let alone being crowned first princess in any pageant, coming from a conservative Adventist background.

In an interview, the model said she took up modelling to boost her confidence.

“Naturally, I was a very timid person. I had very low self-esteem, so when I decided to take up modelling, I wanted to believe in myself, find myself and be able to give a narrative of who Yolanda is.

“I wanted to tell my own story despite what everyone might have thought.”

Despite her Christian background, she would not stop on her quest for self-discovery.

“I am an Adventist, I was born and bred as one, but there was a conflict of interest when I decided to take up modelling. My parents would have none of it. The heart is a lonely hunter. I was determined and nothing was going to stop me. I am not sure what exactly triggered this but the urge and desire was too strong,” she said.

With all the odds seemingly against her, Yo-Yoh secretly registered and attended the Miss Planet pageant in 2023 and failed dismally.

“This was my first attempt. Beginners’ luck evaded me. I was ready to take up another challenge, and was not going to give up,” she said.

Having lost out she did not wear her emotions on her sleeve. Failure was never part of her vocabulary, and it pushed her to secretly register again for the Miss Natural Beauty Pageant

“After the Miss Planet disappointment, which to me was a minor setback, I set my eyes on this pageant in Glen View Area 8, where I contested in the Miss Natural Beauty pageant against 11 other contestants.

“Still being new to the catwalk and driven by passion, I was shocked when they announced my name as a top three finalist. Mind you that was May 2024. It’s only last year when I started to be recognised as such, but it’s a great honour. I am the reigning Miss Natural Beauty 1st Princess,” she said. She aims to make a difference in society by using her influence as a model.

“I want to make a change in society, hence am aiming at fulfilling two projects in line with number five of our SDGs; poverty eradication and climate change.

“I aim to restore the value Zimbabwe held as the breadbasket of Africa. It’s a work in progress, but I will push and work towards it effectively to achieve the desired results. There is a need to advocate for saving the planet through environmentally- friendly projects by going green. It takes all of us to combat this as we build towards a better tomorrow,” she said.

Besides modelling, Yo-Yoh is a poet in her spare time. She enjoys reading literature and listening to some music.

Yo-Yoh might not have made a breakthrough, but she is determined to scale greater heights.

“Change is what I seek and it has to start from within me as an individual. Be the change you want to see. Go after what you believe in and make a difference in society. Believe you can achieve anything and put your mind to it.”

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