Zimbabwean model Yolanda Grace Yona, who is set to represent the country in the Top Model Worldwide contest in London on April 13, is appealing for votes for her to win the title. The 25-year-old Ukraine-based model, also known as Nana Simz, made it to the finals after she entered the competition last year. She will, however, require the backing of the pubic especially back home since there will be an online public vote for country representatives.
"I am excited about the grand opportunity and I pray all goes well. I need all the publicity I can get right now otherwise if I am not known I will not get sufficient votes to win the title," she said.
Miss Nana Simz is no stranger to show business as she has graced Pink Magazine, a prestigious Russian magazine. She also landed a role in a high budget action movie "22 Minutes" due for release in Moscow this year.
"In the movie, I am the love interest of the main character. It is based on a true story about a Russian marine ship that was hijacked by pirates and how the main character managed to survive until his rescue," she said.
The Mutare-born and bred model said that she has been modelling for some time now although her family does not fully approve.
She took part in Miss Zimbabwe 2007 although she was unable to take home the crown. When she relocated to South Africa she made a few appearances on the ramp, but since she had a job elsewhere, she could not go to many castings.
"I featured in Soul Magazine in South Africa and when I did a bit of modelling, but right now I am studying to be an air traffic controller in Ukraine.
"I work time to time with Russian photographer Sasha Samsanova who did my spread for Pink Magazine," she said
Nana Simz is hoping to not only lift the Zimbabwe flag high, but to prove to her family that something good can come out of modelling.
"I want to be a role model and at the same time show my family that there is more to modelling than drugs and scandals. Competitions like Top Model World Wide will open doors for me," she said.