Despite failing to land a position in the local Hope Pageant last August, Shaheeda Magalie was determined not to give up on her modeling dream.
The 14-year-old’s perseverance paid off in spectacular fashion just four months later, her disappointment replaced by December delight as she was crowned Miss Pre-Teen Hope International.
Held in Cape Town, the third edition of the prestigious pageant involved participants from Japan, China, South Africa, Namibia and the Philippines.
For the Bokspits teen who took up modeling at the age of 11, her South African success represents redemption after her heartache in her homeland.
Speaking to Voice Entertainment recently, Shaheeda revealed she was named Best in Modeling, Most Photogenic and Most Popular in the local pageant yet failed to make the podium for the top three overall.
Convinced she had what it took to shine on the international stage, the teen persuaded her mum, Hardijah Magalie to register her for the Hope International event.
As well as her charming nature and obvious grace, Shaheeda’s Charity Project, which accounted for 70 percent of contestants’ final scores, proved a massive hit with the judges.
“The project was about my 35-year-old aunt who has six children, is not working and living in a one-room rented house. My mother sponsored me to build her a poultry house, buy chickens and start a backyard garden so that she can be able to feed her children. I started a campaign on Facebook and people made some donations,” explained Shaheeda, her eyes shining with youthful excitement as she reveals her project was voted the best.
“I had stage fright when presenting the project before the judges but I managed because I was determined to win,” laughed the reigning Miss Tlogatloga, before adding with a smile, “On the modeling part I knew I was going to make it because I have confidence on stage!”
For her part, the Princess’ proud mother said it was not easy raising the required cash for registration, accommodation and travel expenses and was grateful to Batswana for their support.
“She was hurt that she did not win the local competition and told me she is not giving up. I went around asking for donations from different people. I also sponsored her Hope project and helped her prepare for her final presentation in Cape Town.
“I would like to that all those who helped her achieve her dream and 74 Connection Company for paying her transport expenses,” said Magalie.
Shaheeda’s accomplishment capped an impressive showing from Botswana, with local lass Keaotshepha Thibanyane being crowned Miss Hope International and Bokang Mosimanethebe winning Second Princess in the Miss Teen Hope category.