SHE is bright, brilliant, a barrister in the making, and at 17, she is ready to take on the world.
Leeds student, Thelma Khupe will this year represent Zimbabwe in the Miss Teen Africa Beauty Pageant taking place in London in December.
Thelma, who is currently studying for her A ‘levels at Leeds Grammar school said that she is happy to be taking part in this year’s pageant and is looking forward to the rewarding experience of the event, and being part of the wonderful work Teen Africa UK do within the community.
“In a society where we are often surrounded by certain beauty standards, internalised racism and self-belittlement among our young black and African girls, proudly standing as one in a world that is expecting you to be something else is becoming more and more of difficult,” she said.
“Some are left feeling insignificant, or that their blackness is not beautiful enough. However, black skin is not a badge of shame; it is a symbol of national greatness.”
“Becoming Miss teen Africa would provide me with the platform to educate and inform people of such issues, and would also allow me to encourage and positively influence young girls like me,” she added.
Khupe said that there was a need for empowerment within the community of young African women and that it is vital to educate and stand as role models for women who need to regain their self-confidence.
“I think we need to withdraw the negative preconceptions of Africa and African young women by recognising the achievements of our brothers and sisters and appreciating the beauty that lies within our culture and history.” Thelma said.
Taking place on the 10th of December, the pageant is being held at the prestigious Eastham Town Hall.
Situated in the suburban district of Eastham, London, the architectural gem has hosted a number of prolific events and parties.
Now in its second year, Miss Teen Africa Pageant is a Beauty and Talent Pageant showcasing young women aged 13-19 of African origin representing the 54 Independent countries of Africa including Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and the Ivory Coast.
Eleven contestants from 11 countries have made it, and will battle it out in the finale in December.
The pageant is the first of its kind and is devoted to strengthening the voices and representation of young females within the African community, with a huge emphasis on charitable deeds.Advertisement
This year the Miss Teen Africa foundation will support Sickle Cell & Young Stroke Survivors charity (SCYSS). The organisers have also introduced the Teenovation Africa Awards, a platform that aims to promote education across Africa and recognise the work of Teenagers in the African community.
Voting lines open soon and the public will have the opportunity to read the profiles of this year’s contestants and cast their votes.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the event visit http://missteenafrica.com/