|Thabiso Rumbidzai Phiri
|University of Zimbabwe
|2012 to present
Thabiso Phiri is a model who resigned barely a month after being crowned as Miss Zimbabwe during the 2014 edition of the Miss Zimbabwe Pageant which is chaired and organised by Marry Chiwenga, (Shingi Kawondera's former wife who is now married to Constantine Chiwenga). She became the second person in the history of the Miss Zimbabwe Pageant to resign before the end of her reign. She was forced to resign because her nude pictures went viral on social media platforms.
Phiri was born Thabiso Rumbidzai Phiri in 1992. She studied law at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).
Phiri rose to fame when she became the first princess during the inauguration of the Miss Carnival edition in Zimbabwe. In 2013, she was crowned Miss Heritage. She became a household name when she was crowned Miss Zimbabwe (14 June 2014) at the 2014 edition of the pageant which was held at Mabvazuva Village. She was automatically set to represent Zimbabwe at the 2014 Miss World Pageant which was supposed to held in London in December 2014.
After being crowned as Miss Zimbabwe, Thabiso walked away with a brand new Chevrolet Cruze whilst the first and second princesses, Tendai Hunda and Letwin Tiwaringe were given a Chevrolet Spark Lites. The patron of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, Mrs Marry Chiwenga however stated in a local newspaper that the models were to return the cars at the end of their one year reigning period. She argued that, the Trust was forced to ensure that the models were to return the cars so that they will be given to their successors. She highlighted that, the Trust and the pageant was being sidelined by sponsors hence the need to maintain what the Trust already has.
Barely a month after being crowned as Miss Zimbabwe 2014, Phiri resigned, becoming the second person in the history of the pageant to resign. In 2003, Linda van Beek resigned before the end of her reign because she felt pregnant. When she rendered her resignation letter to the Trust, the Trust cited that Phiri was obliged to resign and the Trust supported her stance. Three days after resigning, Phiri's nude pictures went viral on social media platforms.
Phiri's ex-boyfriend, Prosper Tafadzwa Bvunzawabaya was accused of leaking Phiri's photos on the basis that the model had dumped him for a man who was only identified as a politician-cum-businessman who had impregnated her and was refusing to take care of her and their newly unborn baby. Phiri confirmed that she had indeed sent nude pictures to her boyfriend before the Miss Zimbabwe pageant.
Despite the fact that the public never sympathised with Phiri, Marry Chiwenga and gender activists sympathised with Phiri. During the second edition of the Miss Zimbabwe 2014 edition, Marry Chiwenga narrated how she had pinned her hopes on Phiri whose career was disrupted by her ex-boyfriend. Gender activists called for the arrest of Prosper citing that he was to be charged for violating one's privacy under the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act Chapter 10:04 Section 13. Nothing was however done to pursue this and Phiri was replaced by Catherine Makaya who was later replaced by Tendai Hunda. Later in 2015, Emily Tatanga Kachote was to be in the same predicament after her nude photos were leaked a few weeks after she was crowned Miss World Zimbabwe 2015.
Phiri contested during the 2012 edition of the Miss Zimbabwe pageant but she failed to make an impact.
- Shamiso Yikiniko Nude pictures forced Miss Zim to step down, Nehanda Radio, Published:3 August 2014, Retrieved:23 January 2015
- Takudzwa Chihambakwe Thabiso Phiri Crowned Miss Zimbabwe 2014, Zimbo Jam, Published:15 June 2014, Retrieved:23 January 2015
- Mtandazo Dube Winners ' cars not for keeps, The Sunday Mail, Published:22 January 2014, Retrieved:23 January 2015
- Viewers Discretion advised:The leaked pics that forced Miss Zimbabwe to resign, Team Zimbabwe, Published:August 2014, Retrieved:23 January 2015
- Jonathan Mbiriyamveka, Thabiso's nude pics go viral, The Herald, Published:7 Aug 2014, Retrieved: 23 January 2015
- Maxwell Sibanda, It never rains but pours for Chiwenga, Swissafricaribbean, Published:11 Aug 2014, Retrieved:23 January 2015
- author, Thabiso Phiri: The new ‘Miss’ Zimbabwe, Southern Eye, Published:20 June 2014, Retrieved:23 January 2015