BY PRECIOUS CHIDA
TEENAGE beauty model Aaliyah Westerhof is set to represent Zimbabwe at the Miss Teen Continent in the United States after she was crowned second princess during the Miss Zim Schools contest two months ago.
A daughter to former Zimbabwe national coach Clemens and supermodel-turned-HIV activist Tendai Westerhof, Aaliyah will leave the country this Sunday for the prestigious pageant set to be held at Golden Nugget and Casino in Las Vegas next week.
The model’s mother told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that she was excited for her daughter and was positive that she would shine in the competition.
“We are excited that the young girl is following her dreams and we are confident that she will make Zimbabwe proud. Modelling moulds young girls and women and grooms them to be business
professionals if properly guided,” she said.
The organiser of Miss Zim Schools, Zinzile Mantiziba, said being part of the Zim Schools top three had made Aaliyah to be recognised by commercial modelling agencies, although she was still to finish her schooling.
“Since coming out in the top three of Miss Zim Schools, modelling agencies are ready to sign her for commercial adverts, but she has to balance (that) with her school work as she will
sit for her ‘O’ Level exams this year,” she said.
Aaliyah’s wardrobe will be sponsored by Brands for Less from Borrowdale, but the organisers said they were still looking for a sponsor for her national costume, which must depict the
Zimbabwean culture as part of the beauty and fashion pageant.
The 16-year-old Form 4 student at Girls High School said she was optimistic that she would bring the crown home.
“I am excited to represent Zimbabwe, as it is a pageant to empower the girl child. I am so grateful to all my sponsors and I am optimistic that I will not come back home empty-handed. I
am also thankful to my family for running around to put everything together at a short notice and I am ready for the international fashion show,” Aaliyah said.
Contestants will be judged on personal interviews, swimsuit, evening gown and an international gown and the top five will undergo stage questions. All contestants are required to bring their official State banners.
Aaliyah entered her first beauty pageant, where she was crowned Miss Beit and she is the current Miss House at her school at 13.
Attesting to be multi-talented, Aaliyah has also won several sports awards, including woman of the match sport award from the Dairibord Interschools Rugby festival in 2017.