LIFE, according to Paulo Coehlo, “has a way of testing a person’s will”.
The famous Brazilian author, who delves deep into spirituality in his work, sums up the bad and good situations that life throws at us.
Coehlo adds that life tests people “either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happens at once”.
Many Zimbabweans today will testify to this, regardless who they are, whatever their background.
Ask Brooke Bruk-Jackson, a white girl from the more affluent parts of the Zimbabwean capital city Harare. Because of her background you might think she is more privileged than most fellow citizens in her troubled homeland, but Brooke has her own story of trials and tribulations to tell.
Believe it or not, Zimbabwe’s most beautiful woman today worked in a hair salon, yet today she is a tourism ambassador for her country.
Not only is she going to be tourism ambassador for destination Zimbabwe, but Brook will also be the voice of change.
This is the story of Brooke Bruk-Jackson, who took part in the recently held Miss Universe World pageant in El Salvador, where she appeared more or less like a bridesmaid.
The svelte model oozed cool confidence, great poise and intent to pursue a new career path thanks to her experience at the Miss Universe World.
“Gosh, I think I need to find my feet a little bit,” she said with a chuckle.
“It’s been a whirlwind of emotions. I am going to fulfill my duties for this next year and hopefully beyond. I am gonna keep working with the informal sector and keep doing my best to make a social change. I wanna be an ambassador for social change; that is truly my goal and where my heart is.”
Asked about her experience at the international pageant, Brooke said she was humbled, coming from a background as a beauty therapist.
“It actually was a once-in-a-lifetime
experience; my goal was to put Zimbabwe back on the map and you know I think just being there and being present put us back on the map. Everybody knows about Zimbabwe and I can tell you that for a fact I got top 10 Voice for Change, which was one of the challenging parts of the competition.”
The 21-year-old blonde said while she lost the crown she was looking ahead with a positive mind to promote tourism.
“So, in every interview everybody asked me questions about our country, our people, about our historical moments literally
everything and that’s where I spoke about our beautiful nation and also what put us back on the map like I said it’s getting into the top 10 Voice for Change.
“Like I said, that was one of the most challenging parts of the competition and I was amongst other nine countries, so it put us back on the map because people now know about Zimbabwe, now everybody is talking about us wondering where we are because before, nobody really knew where Zimbabwe was and now they do and you know just being there wearing my sash across my chest just shows that we were there,” she
“One of the things I did mention on what Zimbabweans are known for, I said everybody is friendly, everyone goes around saying ‘how are you, shamwari yangu?’ (my friend) to me that was a special part that I shared with the world because truly Zimbabweans are so friendly. The people of Zimbabwe are so unique and just so welcoming,
“I hope that people come here bring tourism and just come see our beautiful country because we truly have a lot to offer.”
Brooke arrived on Wednesday at
Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to a rousing welcome by Mufakose-based Hwamanda Traditional Dance Group.
She was received at the airport by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority CEO Winnie Muchanyuka, who was representing Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Barbara Rwodzi.
Muchanyuka said Brooke was a true ambassador for Zimbabwe who did the country proud.
“She did our work so much easier. She had so many countries that
were surrounding her, so many beautiful ladies from countries across the world and her message to them can only bring more of visitors in beauty pageantry business to come into Zimbabwe,” Muchanyuka said.
“We are so proud of you for being amongst the top 10 Voice for Change and working with the informal sector is critical for tourism because a lot of people in tourism are actually in informal sector.
“We look forward to working with you and you don’t seem to have your to-do-list we would love for you to
promote some of the products and carry the Zimbabwean flag wherever you are since people will remember you from the Miss Universe pageant.”
Brooke made it to the Miss Universe 2023 Voice For Change but failed to bring the crown home.
The Voice For Change Silver Finalist was about representing a global shifting tapestry of voices committed to making a difference.
She was selected together with Angola, Brazil, Chile, Lebanon, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa and Ukraine.
The finalists captured the audience’s attention and demonstrated a passion for positive change through their impactful advocacy videos.
The competition went beyond traditional beauty pageant norms, allowing viewers to play an active role in shaping the outcome.
The Voice for Change competition was won by the Philippines.