|Born||Malaika Maidei Mushandu|
June 7, 1993
Malaika Mushandu is a Zimbabwean model who rose to fame when she became one of the youngest winners of the Miss Zimbabwe pageant in 2011. She also proved that she was a force to reckon with when she finished 9th at the Miss World Pageant, becoming the second person to raise the Zimbabwean flag high at the Miss World pageant in 2011.
Malaika Maidei Mushandu was born on 7 June in 1993. She has two siblings (presumably a brother and a sister), her parents divorced while she was younger, after which she remained with her father in Zimbabwe, while her mother relocated to the UK. She attended St Dominic's High School (a girl's Catholic boarding school in Chishawasha, about 24 km from the capital Harare)
At the time of attending Miss World 2011, she was reported to be studying Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, probably in Namibia. As part of her prize for the Miss Zimbabwe 2011 contest she elected to do a programme on water and sanitation with UNESCO.
Mushandu stated that she grew up admiring and imitating local and international models. She however never thought of pursuing modelling as a career as she always viewed it as one of her various hobbies. Her teachers and parents as well as her relatives always discouraged her from entangling herself too much into modelling but rather to focus on her studies.
After being first discovered by Mercy Mushaninga through Zim Gossip Malaika began her modelling journey when she first participated at Miss Models Extravaganza in 2009 where she won the contest. She would later go on to represent Zimbabwe at the Miss Southern Africa 2010, again winning the event.
On 13 February 2011, Mushandu became the youngest ever Miss Zimbabwe winner when she was crowned at the age of 17 years 252 days. The event also saw her being crowned as Miss Photogenic as well as Miss Top Model, walking away with prizes amounting to US$22 000.
On 6 November 2011, Mushandu represented Zimbabwe at the Miss World pageant where she finished in the top ten, becoming the second Zimbabwean model to excel at the Miss World pageant. In 2012, Mushandu represented Zimbabwe in the Top Model pageant held in Germany and won First Runner Up. She won several prizes and one of the most notable one was an international modelling contract from the World Beauty Organisation.
After being crowned Miss Harare Malaika embarked on a water and sanitation project which would see her training schoolchildren on hygiene issues and also facilitating drilling of water pumps to assist the water situation in the country. Dubbed the Beauty with a Purpose project Malaika would aim to have 13,500 Blair toilets being sunk in marginalised communities, 2500 wells and boreholes built as well.
On 20 January 2015, it was reported that Mushandu's nude pictures had leaked and that they were circulating on social networks. Responding to this, Mushandu was quoted saying,
I have heard about them before, during the time when Thabiso Phiri (2014 Miss Zimbabwe) was dethroned. My brother actually called me to clarify the issue as l was out of the country at the time. Can you please describe the pictures to me or send them for confirmation if it is really me
Mushandu also responded that she had a number of semi nude pictures taken of her during photoshoots for her portfolio although she claimed that they were professional photos.
She was named as one of Zimbabwe's finest top 40 hot, brainy and influential women in 2013. Her favourite music is jazz and she enjoys studying the lives of controversial, powerful women (e.g. Cleopatra).
Malaika at a photo shoot after being crowned Miss Zimbabwe
- Miss World 2011 - Zimbabwe - Malaika Maidei MUSHANDU, Global Miss Contest, Published: 3 Oct 2011, Retrieved: 21 Jan 2015
- Bulawayo Finalists for Miss Southern Africa Zimbabwe Selected, Zimbo Jam, Published: 18 Oct 2010, Retrieved: 21 Jan 2015
- Money, scholarship, boost Malaika, Newsday, Published: 20 Mar 2012, Retrieved: 21 Jan 2015
- Drumbeat: Why has Malaika Mushandu been ignored?, The Standard, published:3 Dec 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
- Malaika’s Chance to Make History, Zimbojam, Published: 9 Mar 2012, Retrieved: 21 January 2015
- Zimbojam, Malaika Mushandu, 18, crowned Miss Zimbabwe 2011, www.newzimbabwe.com, Published: 14 Feb 2011, Retrieved: 21 January 2015
- Cardinus Chijongwe, The most beautiful Miss Zimbabwes since 1980, Nehanda Radio, Published: 5 Sep 2012, Retrieved: 20 Jan 2015
- Miss Zim embarks on water, sanitation project, Newsday, Published: 25 May 2011, Retrieved: 20 Jan 2015
- Malaika's us$25 000 windfall, Herald, Published: 5 Oct 2011, Retrieved: 20 Jan 2015
- Malaika nude pic leak, The Herald, Published: 20 Jan 2015, Retrieved: 20 January 2015
- Zimbabwe’s Finest: Top 40 Hot, Brainy and Influential Women, Elle Afrique, Published: 11 Jun 2013, Retrieved: 20 January 2015
- Meet Miss World 2011 Contestant - Miss World 2011 - Zimbabwe - Malaika Maidei MUSHANDU's Profile/Biography/Interview, Celebrity Magazine, Published: 7 Oct 2011, Retrieved: 20 January 2015