Malaika Mushandu
Malaika Maidei Mushandu
BornMalaika Maidei Mushandu
  • Model

Malaika Mushandu rose to fame when she became one of the youngest and biggest winner in the history 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.


Mushandu was born Malaika Maidei Mushandu in 1993.

Her Modelling Career

Mushandu stated that she grew up admiring and imitating local and international models.[1] She however never thought of pursuing model 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 of her studies.[1]

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Regardless of this, Mushandu was determined to excel as a model. In 2010, she contested in a pageant dubbed Miss Harare and she was subsequently crowned as Miss Harare.[2] After this achievement, many opportunities began to open up for Mushandu. During the same year, she was also crowned as Miss Southern in April.[2]

On 13 February 2011, Mushandu was crowned Miss Zimbabwe (at the age of 18) at an event which was held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC). The event was however delayed as the guests of honour arrived late. It was supposed to commence at 7 pm but it began at 10 pm.[3] The guests of honour were senior officials of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF). Those who finally made it were Cde Edna Madzongwe, the then Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, the then Harare Resident Minister, the late David Karimanzira,Walter Mzembi, Professer Arthur Mutambara , who was the then Deputy Prime Minister as well as Sydney Sekeramayi who was the then Minister of State and Security in the President's Office. After this debacle, it was widely reported that ZANU PF was now politicising the pageant. Sulumani Chimbetu, Sanii Makhalima,Cindy Munyavi, Charles Charamba, Tererai Mugwadi and the army band entertained the crowd that had thronged HICC to witness the 2011 edition of Miss Zimbabwe.[3]

Mushandu was also landed other titles at this event and she also clinched several endorsement deals after the event. She was crowned as Miss Photogenic as well as Miss Top Model. She walked away with prices amounting to US$22 000.[3] Rumbidzayi Mudzengerere was the first princess and Lisa Morgan was the second princess.

In 2011, Mushandu represented the country at the Miss World pageant which was held on the 6th of November and she finished in the top ten, becoming the second Zimbabwean model to excel at the Miss World pageant.[4] Angelina Musasiwa finished in the top four in 1994. The expenditure for her preparations for this event were catered for by T N Group of Companies, which was owned by Tawanda Nyambirai.[5] The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) catered for her travelling expenses.[5] After her success at the Miss World Pageant, Mushandu was offered a scholarship and US$3 000. The Chief Executive Officer of ZTA, Mr Karikoga Kaseke stated that,

We felt there was no other way to congradulate her and thank her for flying the country's flag high, than giving her a scholarship. She will choose at her own time which university or college she wants to attend to pursue her studies anywhere in the world[6]

Mushandu stated that, she was to study for a programme on water and sanitation offered by UNESCO.[6] In 2012, Mushandu represented Zimbabwe in the Top Model Pageant which was held in Germany and she became the First Runner Up. She won several prices and one of the most notable one was an international modelling contract from the World Beauty Organisation.[6]


On 20 January 2015, it was reported that Mushandu's nude pictures had leaked and that they were circulating on social networks.[7] 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[7]

Mushandu also stated that she took her own semi nude pictures during photo shoots for her portfolis although she claimed that they were professional photos.[7]


She was named as one of Zimbabwe's finest top 40 hot, brainy and influential women in 2013.[8]

Picture Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 Drumbeat: Why has Malaika Mushandu been ignored?, The Standard, published:3 Dec 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Malaika Mushandu crowned Miss Zim 2011, NewsDay, published:13 Feb 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Esther Gomo, Zanu PF hijacks Miss Zimbabwe show, Nehanda Radio, published:14 Feb 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  4. Cardinus Chijongwe, The most beautiful Miss Zimbabwes since 1980, Nehanda Radio, published:5 Sep 2012,retrieved:"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Miss Zimbabwe gets US$25 000 windfall, Nehanda Radio, published:6 Oct 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Money, scholarship, boost Malaika, Zim Beat News, published:20 Mar 2012,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Malaika nude pic leak, The Herald, published:20 Jan 2015,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  8. Zimbabwe’s Finest: Top 40 Hot, Brainy and Influential Women, Elle Afrique, published:11 Jun 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"