Peter Matika, Senior Life Reporter
STRIDES modelling agency founder Sipho Mazibuko has made a striking come back to the modelling industry with her first port of call being to resuscitate the Miss Summer Strides pageant.
Mazibuko, whose agency Strides Modelling Agency fizzled away about 10 years ago, re-launched it last Saturday in Bulawayo at Ascot Shopping Complex, at a delightful ceremony held at Glow Home Beauty shop at the mall.
The re-launch, which also doubled as a graduation for her new set of models and her belated 40th birthday attracted at least about 100 people.
The event started at 7pm and went on until around 9pm, where dancing Queen Sandra Ndebele and up-andcoming musician Welshman Sibanda performed. She spoke to Sunday Life about her return.
“It’s been years since I was active in the industry. I must say it was an interesting event, my return and the industry should brace for new and exciting events,” she said.
Mazibuko said she had secured a sponsor, which she would make known once all is in place for the Miss Summer Strides pageant.
Mazibuko also said she had taken a long hiatus after she found the going tough as there were no sponsors to fund her pageants.
And now, the agency popular for hosting renowned pageants such as Miss Summer Strides and Miss Rural Zimbabwe has 12 models that graduated at the re-launch.
“Twelve models, 11 female and one male, graduated on Saturday. There were various categories such as the top model, photogenic, and most improved. There was also a kids’ section too,” she said.
The last class to graduate in 2007 featured Sibusisiwe Dube who went on to win Miss Bulawayo before being crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe second princess as well as Mr Summer Strides Edson Hapazari.
Mazibuko said she had intensions of turning the modelling industry around, as it was fast depreciating.
“The last time I held such a graduation was in 2007. Ever since 2006, I stopped hosting pageants because of money constraints.
For the past two or so years, people have been calling me to bring them back and after a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to get back on the horse and start grooming models for the industry,” said Mazibuko.
Strides Modelling Agency brags of having graduates such as former Miss Zimbabwe Lorraine Maphala-Phiri, former Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Samantha Tshuma and Miss Tourism second princess and Miss Bulawayo, Sibusisiwe Dube.
ZBCtv news anchor Yolanda Gumbo and R&B singer Shanice “Alaina” Pullen have gone through the hands of Strides Modelling Agency.