Crowned at a prestigious inaugural pageant and beating other 18 girls to become Miss Carnival 2013, 21-year old Dananai Chipunza has a story to tell.
She is indeed the most sought after beauty queen at the moment and getting her attention is now a mammoth task because of her tight schedule.
For clinching the coveted prize she walked away with prizes worth US$78 000, among them a Mercedes-Benz and US$20 000 cash.
Saturday Lifestyle tracked the newly crowned Miss Carnival at a five-star luxurious hotel where she is staying, for an exclusive interview.
However, barely a week since being crowned, some people say that she is already throwing around the diva attitude, unceremoniously rejecting interviews. Either way she is a queen though.
“I am aware that I am now a public figure after I became the carnival queen for the inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival. However, that does not change the fact that there is a difference between my private life and public life. It’s not I don’t want to grant interviews but I intend to keep my private life away from the media,” she said as she vehemently defended her decision not to grant interviews.
With a slender trimmed body that the Diesel owner and model house would die for their cover girl Dananai said she was still the ordinary girl.
“I am still your girl next door. I haven’t changed. It is just that I now have the crown but my friends are still the same,” noted the queen.
However, when asked about her private life, Dananai argued that she was entitled to her private life. “I have no comment on that,” she said.
Turning to her modelling career, many will agree that Dananai success was not achieved overnight, but it has been built over the years, with Miss Teen Zimbabwe having been her stepping stone to the title that she now holds.
“I am not new on the ramp. I entered Miss Teen Zimbabwe 2010 and was voted the Most Promising Teen. I then went to South Africa to study culinary art at Chefs Culinary Academy, before coming back home, where I focused on establishing myself. Dananai said her decision to enter the competition was merely a strategy to boost her business.
“My profession is more on the tourism side. I am an entrepreneur and my business is linked to tourism. It is of great honour that I won the pageant and I will use the opportunity to develop my business.
“For now will focus on the reign but I have no plans for pursuing modelling further because I have some culinary services to run. Winning was a blessing. I am planning to use some of the money to develop my business,” said the lanky model.
Though she is visibly shorter than the average model, she insists she is 1,72m tall.
For one to qualify at the Miss World pageant she has to be 1,7m tall or more, one of the reasons why former Miss Zimbabwe Malaika Mushandu made it in the top 15 with a height of 1,87m, among other attributes.
“I am sure I have the height and I am very confident about it. I haven’t started planning for the Miss Tourism World because of the busy schedule of the carnival that is taking place. I am unique and trust me I will surprise people,” she boasted. Dananai also paid tribute to former Miss Harare Samantha Dika, for dressing her during the carnival.
“I was dressed by Easdea Couture by Samantha Dika. She actually made my carnival dress that shook the nation when I went on ramp. I had all the confidence each time I went on stage hence the support from my friends and family who designed a banner to boost my confidence,” she said.
Dananai is the founder of Zimbabwe International Cultural Food Festival. She was born in Harare in a family of two and went to Eaglesvale High School where she completed her Ordinary Levels.
She lives with her parents in Avondale.
Dananai says she loves good food, something that could have influenced her decision to become a chef. “I love eating T-bone and sadza. Cooking is the best thing I like to do during my spare time. However, I am very particular about what I eat and I watch my diet,” she enthused.
The model will represent the country at Miss Tourism World in Rio de Janeiro later this year.