”My Ancestors Rolling In They Graves’: White Woman Wins 2023 Miss Universe Zimbabwe Over ‘Melanated’ Candidates

Zimbabwe will be among the countries represented at the 2023 Miss Universe pageant on Nov. 18 after selecting its first crowned beauty in 22 years.

The African country’s return to the competition is an exciting fete, but not everyone is pleased with the woman chosen as the nation’s representative for the global stage.

Brooke Bruk-Jackson, a white woman, was crowned Miss Universe Zimbabwe 2023 on Sept. 16. She is a native of Harare, the country’s capital. The 21-year-old model’s runner-ups were Black women, Amanda Mpofu and Nokutenda Marumbwa.

Debate sparks online after Brooke Bruk-Jackson, a white woman, wins 2023 Miss Universe Zimbabwe over other ‘melanated’ candidates. (Photos: Brooke_brukjackson/Instagram.)

After her win, she wrote on Instagram, “I have gained this crown for our beautiful country, to love and to serve our people, to represent Zimbabwe Internationally and to show the world the uniqueness of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.”

She hopes to be an example of grace and inspiration for the youth, proving “that together we are strong and anything in life is possible.”

But Bruk-Jackson has not been shown much grace from outraged natives who believe a Black woman should have been crowned. The country boasts a population of more than 14 million, with non-Black people making up roughly two percent.

On X, one person exclaimed, “All those beautiful melanted women and you telling me the European woman won a contest for black people!!??” Someone else responded, “Extremely tragic and disappointing! I agree with you.”

Disapproval of the model’s victory prompted her to deactivate comments on her victory post. However, comments remain active elsewhere on her Instagram, such as the photo of her dressed in garb showcasing Zimbabwean artists. It is there that critics fully expressed their disdain for the pageant winner.

In her caption, she wrote, “The colour of our skin should not define a person or who each person chooses to associate with. Together, we are aligned, a beautiful kind made by god.”


Comments reflect that her sentiments were not shared by many.

“So disappointing to see these colonizers representing an African country,” wrote one person. “My ancestors rolling in they graves!!!!” wrote a second user. And a third commented, “This is sad and disgusting yall literally have to be the face of everything?”

More than 90 countries are expected to be represented when the Miss Universe pageant is televised from El Salvador this fall. Hosts for this year’s competition have not been announced yet. In the past, entertainer Steve Harvey emceed the event.

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