Little Zawadi rocks in the beauty world

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 07:23 | By
Eight year old Zawadi Muthoni who was crowned Little Miss Universe for Africa in a contest held in Dubai, late October with her mother Juliet Wamuhu. PD/COURTESY

Zawadi Muthoni, eight years old, came to the limelight after she was crowned The Little Miss Universe for Africa in a contest that was held in Dubai late October.

Zawadi is a grade three pupil at Technology primary school in Kiharu Murang’a and her mother Juliet Wamuhu shares their journey to the top of the world of beauty.

Wamuhu says from a tender age, her daughter loved wearing fancy dresses and applying make-up, a thing that she thought was normal with girls. Zawadi would also pore through her mother’s magazines and look at the models and dresses they wore and constantly request her mother to get her similar dresses.

“I used to buy magazines and when she took them, she would go straight to the models’ pages just to admire them,” she said.

When she was four years, Wamuhu took the daughter to a wedding ceremony where she was a flower girl.

One of the friends noticed Zawadi was outstanding from other flower girls and told the mother she looked like a model and after a brief discussion the friend told her to enrol her in a modelling school where she could learn more and perfect her talent.

Little Miss Africa

“I enrolled Zawadi in EM Africa modelling academy in 2019 where she trained for six months, but we never had the graduation ceremony because of the lock down, which was imposed during Covid-19 pandemic,“ she said.

Her first contest was the little Miss Africa for Mt Kenya region where the participants uploaded their clips online for voting. Zawadi took second position.

Seeing her passion in modelling, the mother went an extra mile to enrol her in Sunflower kids school in Nairobi where she was taught public speaking, dancing and Bible study. This, she says, helped boost her self-esteem and confidence in public.

“We used to go for sessions every Saturday for three hours for a period of six months,” she said.

For her it was a sacrifice both for time and money saying she had to drive all the way to Nairobi every Saturday and pay Sh1,500 per session.

When the contest for the Little Miss Universe came up, Zawadi wanted to be part of it and requested her mother to pay for her. Wamuhu made the necessary arrangement with her trainer Nancy Okoth who was to look after her during their stay in Dubai.

“It was a self-sponsored trip, which was quite expensive, but I felt this was a lifetime opportunity for Zawadi to get the exposure she so much needed,” said the mother.

The contest had 62 participants from all over the world and five from Africa. Zawadi scooped the African award, beating four other contestants.

“This came as a surprise to me because I didn’t expecting her to win at her tender age and it being her first time to take part in an international competition,” she said.

 Despite having a passion for modelling, Zawadi who aspires to become a doctor in future, has managed to strike a balance between her studies and her hobby.

“She is among the top performers in her class and I always ensure she creates enough time for her studies and still attend the modelling sessions when required,” said Wamuhu.

Nurture the talents

Wamuhu urges parents to help nurture the talents they see in their children as this could be holding the key to their future.

“In most cases, we ignore the talents in our children and tell them to focus on their studies, but this should not be the case,” said the mother.

She said she is willing to support her to go to any length in achieving her dream to become an international model.

“My daughter won because I supported and nurtured her talent and she is set to go places to achieve her dream,” she remarked. 

Zawadi’s father and her elder siblings have also been of great support to her and they encourage her to do better.

Zawadi on her part said she was excited to take the top award saying it was her dream come true.

“My dream is to become an international model and I am glad my journey towards achieving it has began on a positive note,” she said.

She says her role model is Lupita Nyong’o who she yearns to meet someday.

Besides modelling Zawadi also plays chess and has taken part in various contests and emerged a winner in all of them.

She is set to attend an international competition in Liberia in January next year. 

More on Features