With hands clutched, heart racing and anxiety almost reaching boiling point, the finalists for 2019 Miss Universe Tanzania were seconds away from learning their fate in front of hundreds of guests.
It all went down this past weekend at an indoor venue in Serena Hotel, Dar es Salaam. A total of 10 contestants from different regions in Tanzania, including Arusha, Mwanza Dodoma and Dar es Salaam battled it out on stage to win the top prize for Miss Universe.
It was an eventful night not short of entertainment. The audience, in utter attention waited to witness the crowing of a new beauty queen, the first since 2017, when the last Miss Universe contest was staged in Tanzania.
After weeks of preparation, the models were ready for the final test. Confident, ambitious and ready to showcase their talents, the 10 beauty queens had all to show for their effort.
At the final stage, it all came down to five constants. Those who managed to make it to the top five are Precious Lyimo, Sarafina Wasley, Glory Gideon, Shubila Stanton and Elverenta Reuben. That wasn’t the final curtain call, the top five were further cut down to the final three.
In the top three were Sarafina Wasley, Precious Lyimo and Shubila Stanton. The final announcement saw Shubila Stanton walk away with the Miss Universe crown, with Precious Lyimo securing second spot while Sarafina Wasley placed third.
This marked the end of a journey that saw these young, passionate models chase after the dream of becoming Tanzania’s top queen in the Miss Universe pageant. In the end there could only be one winner.
The top three
Shubila Stanton, 23, the winner of this year’s Miss Universe contest, recently finished a degree in Environmental Science and Management from Dar es Salaam. The victory saw her walk away with the crown and a cash prize of Sh3 million.
She will also get the chance to represent Tanzania at the global Miss Universe contest.
Stanton has had an illustrious career in modeling. She has won various beauty pageants, such as Miss Morogoro, a title she’s concurrently holding with her Miss Universe tag. “I feel lucky to have won the Miss Universe beauty pageant.
The rest of the contestants were equally impressive. Everyone did their best,” she told The Beat.
With 10 models from different parts of the country, this year’s Miss Universe contest was filled with a lot of diversity.
The 10 women bonded and became more like family. “One of the highlights of the contest, to me, is how I connected with everyone,” Stanton said.
Stanton’s focus now is to bring honour to her country at the global stage. She is currently being mentored by former Miss Universe, Lilian Erica, her predecessor who won the title in 2017. “Stanton is gifted. She will do well at the global Miss Universe contest, I believe in her and will ensure she goes there well-prepared,” said Erica.
1st runner up Precious Lyimo, 23, hails from Arusha. She’s currently a second year law student at Makumira University. Her modeling journey dates back to 2017. She has since grown to love the fashion world and hopes to further build on the success she’s achieved at the 2019 Miss Universe Tanzania.
“I am happy with the outcome of the event. I didn’t expect to reach this far. Having made it to top three is a blessing,” she said.
Precious stood on the stage alongside Stanton as the only two finalists. It was up to the host to announce the eventual winner. When Stanton’s name was announced, Precious wasn’t too shocked with the outcome. “Deep inside I expected Stanton to win,” she revealed.
For now, Precious plans to engage herself more in community work. “I’d like to visit centres for people who are physically impaired and get to share with them a few inspirations. I’d like them to know that they can do anything they put their mind to, even pursue dreams in the modeling world,” she said.
Speaking about her experience at the camp with the rest of the models, Precious echoes the same sentiment as Stanton, saying she enjoyed the interaction and how everyone was so friendly.
2nd runner up Sarafina Wasley has always loved modeling since she was a little girl. The recent medical graduate didn’t let her career aspirations in the medical field curtail her from pursuing her modeling interest.
She has walked on many runways in Tanzania over the years, but Miss Universe was her first beauty contest to be a part of.
“I’m pleased with my performance at my debut beauty contest,” she said, further revealing that her unending love for modeling has enabled her to conquer many fears, such as expressing herself in front of an audience.
Wasley has dreams that are partitioned in the medical world, where she’s pursuing a career as a doctor, and also the modeling world, a passion she’s had for many years.