ZIMBABWE’S representative at the ongoing Miss Earth finals, Sandiswe Bhule, is flying the country’s flag high in the Philippines having already bagged a bronze medal in the best environmental teacher category.
After the competition in the capital Manila, Bhule sailed off to the island of Cebu where she spent a night aboard a cruise ship and participated in a talent show.
For her talent presentation she played the traditional mbira instrument.
Although she did not win in this category, Bhule received points for participating.
She was part of the cocktail dress competition where she wore a Zimbabwe-made garment designed and tailored by Danayi Chapfika of Haus of Stone.
She has also had the opportunity to plant trees in the Mangroves of the Philippines.
Bhule told Woza Weekend that she was amazed by the support she was receiving from her fans in the Philippines.
She said they had shown their support by displaying placards and Zimbabwe flags during her public appearances.
“I am overwhelmed by the support I am getting from fans in the Philippines, they are always asking to take pictures during my public appearances,” she said.
“It has been a humbling experience and I am stunned at how seriously the rest of the world takes pageants.”
In Bhule’s group of 30 contestants, there are four other African representatives from Gabon, Madagascar, Tanzania and South Africa.
Categories at the Miss Earth finals include resort wear, evening gown, swimsuit, national costume, eco beauty, friendship and photogenic contest.
Bhule shrugged off fierce competition from 14 other aspirants to land the coveted crown at the national finals held in September at the Bulawayo Theatre.
The Environment, Water and Climate ministry and the Environment Management Agency supported Bhule’s trip to Manila.
Thandekile Muringa, who runs the local event, urged Zimbabweans to support Bhule by voting online.
“I invite fellow Zimbabweans to vote for Sandi by visiting the international Miss Earth Facebook page,” she said.
“We are rallying behind our girl and want to see her make it all the way to the final which will be held on the 29th of November.”