24 year old Pauline Deborah Marere from Mhondoro, Mashonaland scoops the 2018 Miss Africa title at a  glitzy pageant that was held in South Africa.

The newly crowned Miss Africa posted a facebook statement upon winning showing gratitude towards her sponsors, she also used the post to thank her family, best friend and as well as Zimbabwe as a whole for supporting her.

“Last night l was crowned as the new Miss Africa after a tough competition and a top 7 question and answer round. l walked away with a brand new VW high up car, a trip to Paris, a cash prize of R50 000, a voucher from Edgars, a scholarship to a business school and lm the new brand ambassador for VW and megabyte. A special thanks to the Miss Africa team for believing in me, my parents who supported me all the way, my designers Dziva by Selina, Susan, Laquan events, Cryes collection, Kuxy bridal, Mos clothing and my hairdresser Yeukai.”

Marere entered Miss Africa after coming across an advert calling for the Miss Africa auditions. After submitting the required paperwork and selection interviews she was later confirmed as a successful contestant representing Zimbabwe.

16 finalists from all over Africa competed for the crown, the first screening  left the top 7 on stage, finally the further cuts left the top three countries  Lesotho, Tanzania and Zimbabwe being crowned the pageant winner. Marere is the first Zimbabwean to win this prestigious pageant, previous winners of the competition have always been dominated by West Africa. “lm proud to have brought it to Southern Africa,” Marere said.

Marere is not just a pretty face, but a beauty with brains, she moved to Cape town with her family in pursuit of her education where she picked up from grade 8 all the way to university. She studied electrical engineering at Cape Peninsula University, Cape town and next month she looks forward to reaching another milestone as she celebrates her graduation.

Marere  believes that education is a basic human right for everybody, during her reign as Miss Africa 2018 her goal is to create a prison eduction drive where reformation is linked to education. She has been collecting books and stationary which she will be donating to inmates starting with Chinhoyi prison.

“l believe that we all deserve a second chance and I’m grateful to our government for making education free to our fellows brothers and sisters in prison. If they study while serving their time and obtain O level, A level or degrees this will give them a chance to start over once they complete their sentence. Hopefully this will also reduce the level of crime in our country and it is my wish to get assistance in fulfilling my project,” Marere said.

Marere says her inspiration to start the prison eduction drive  comes from seeing the first lady Mai Munangagwa how she always visits inmates and gives them hope that no-matter their circumstances we still care and love them.