Beautiful ... Reigning Miss Zimbabwe Vanessa Sibanda
SULTY Miss Zimbabwe 2008 Vanessa Sibanda was flown to London and Abu Dhabi last week along with 118 other Miss World finalists as she prepares for a crack at the crown which has only thrice been won by an African.
The 21-year-old beauty arrived in South Africa on November 4 and took part in various charity events which raised $400,000 for Variety International Children's Fund.
The girls were also taken on sightseeing trips -- from a walk across the Nelson Mandela Bridge, playing a round of golf to walking with lions at a safari park.
Then on November 9, Vanessa was whisked to London where the girls visited the World Travel Market, recorded interviews for BBC TV’s One Show and visited famous London landmarks, including the House of Commons.
Last Wednesday, Vanessa travelled to the United Arab Emirates where the beauties were checked into the $1,000-a-night Yas Hotel built in the middle of the Yas Marina Circuit – the setting of the final Formula One Grand Prix race earlier this month.
The girls also rubbed shoulders with Manchester City’s millionaire footballers who were dining at the Yas Hotel. City were in Abu Dhabi for a friendly match with the United Arab Emirates.
Gorgeous ... Miss Zimbabwe Vanessa Sibanda having time of her life
The Miss World Finals take place at Johannesburg’s Gallagher Convention Centre on December 12.
Vanessa will be hoping to beat the impressive top 25 finish by her predecessor, Cynthia Muvirimi, who represented Zimbabwe at last year’s finals also held in Johannesburg.
Confident Vanessa declared recently: "I promise to do my best and God will do the rest. He has taken me this far and there is no way he is going to let me down now because I'm favoured and blessed.
"I believe I can make Zimbabwe proud if I get the support.”
Vanessa revealed she had altered her diet to maintain her weight at 55kg.
Designer Joyce Chimanye will provide the delectable Vanessa's wardrobe while Miss Zimbabwe rights holder Kiri Davies is helping with grooming lessons.
The competition, now in its 59th year, has only ever been won by five Africans – Egyptian Antigone Costanda (1954), South African Penelope Anne Coelen (1958) and the Nigerian Agbani Darego in 2001.