Mary Yuki Mundeya can easily be described as a lady on a mission. The award winning model, actress and entrepreneur has been on a roll in igniting positive change in communities by playing a part in raising the next generation of leaders through modelling.
Our Person of the Week is a self-described lover of all things art, freelance journalist and the brains behind Miss Pre-Teen Zimbabwe which she fuounded last year. The pageant was started in a bid to groom and nurture young talent and empower them to be influential women in society. Since its inaugural November 2019 finals, Miss Pre-Teen Zimbabwe has budded into a refreshing movement that champions pertinent society issues.
“Miss Pre-Teen Zimbabwe was founded with a specific purpose of going beyond the grooming and runway but moulding our new generation into powerful and influential members of society. The purpose is to raise a generation of young people who are conscious of environmental issues and conservation as they go about their lives,’’ said Yuki Mundeya.
“In my years as a model I have been witness to some misconceptions about the industry in some circles. Through Miss Pre-Teen Zim we have been able to show the positive impact modelling can have in society by steering our energy towards the prime purpose of promoting charity work in regards to addressing societal issues.”
Mundeya first came up with the idea for the pageant after she did a documentary on vultures during the course of her media work which she says gave her a better appreciation on environmental issues. It was not long before the idea of the pageant was birthed with the aim of championing a different theme every year.
“When we launched the pageant, I decided to centre it on community issues and run with a new breed of models who advocate for environmental issues. I am glad we held our first competition last year with the theme ‘Moving towards a cleaner and safer environment’ which was focused on productive use of waste and different ways of disposing waste in an enviro-friendly manner and recycling among other things. After our initial success, my hope is for Miss Pre-Teen Zim to unearth new leaders and continue on awareness and expand to other countries.”
Away from the glitzy lights of the runway as well as her modelling coaching engagements within the industry and tertiary education circles, Yuki is involved in other ventures.
“I’m a firm believer in making multiple income streams and apart from modelling I’m also into farming and media related ventures. I love documentaries and sharing untold stories with the world and contribute to TheFeedZW, among others, which has helped me in my quest to get the everyday story of everyday people out,” she said.
“As a runway model I have been privileged to work with awesome designers such as one of my favourites Tapfumaneyi Munhenge and Zarguesia among others. Journalism came later in my journey but I have fallen in love with it just as passionately as with everything else. I also founded Sheek Magazine which focused on fashion related stories and got recognition for my work by being awarded the Most Talented Female Model in Zimbabwe at the Zimbabwe Model Awards, which I rank as a major highlight in my career.’’
As Yuki’s star continues to shine, the work keeps pouring in as she expressed her intentions to carry on using the best of her influence and resources to make a difference in the society.
“I want to carry on making a difference by grooming a new models with a thrust towards environment, well spoken, who leave no room for exploitation and know their rights. That is my greatest motivation with Miss Pre-Teen Zimbabwe and hope I’m grateful for all the support we get.”