Model of the Fortnight

Beauty in the land of culture echoes diversity delights

New Zealand may be a small country, but we are mighty, and we are one that will never let another dull our sparkle, says Shaayal Gounden, our Model of the Fortnight.

This 23-year-old former Miss South Auckland was speechless as she was crowned ‘Miss Five Crown New Zealand Regional Winner’ and ‘Your Charity Queen 2017,’ at the annual beauty bonanza held at Mercury Theatre in Auckland on October 28, 2017.

“This is a land where culture echoes, tradition speaks, beauty mesmerises and diversity delights,” she said.

Meeting Challenges

Shaayal is a child of the soil. Born and raised in South Auckland, she recently completed her final year of undergraduate study to become Bachelor of Applied Management, with a double major in Event and Tourism Management.

“As a nation, we have the strength to overcome and unite in times of difficulty; which is why, I entered the Miss Five Crowns New Zealand Contest. The Title will help me to create an influential platform to support ‘Youthline’ and other charities. Being a parent, ‘Baby Loss New Zealand’ is close to my heart. This is an amazing organisation that helps create tangible memories for families that have lost their precious angels,” she said.

Shaayal’s little world comprises husband Taufiq and their baby girl Ariana.

Prestigious Titles

Winning awards at beauty pageants is not new for Shaayal. Her previous Titles include Miss Pre-Teen NZ, Miss South Auckland 2014, Miss World New Zealand Beauty with a Mission 2014 and Miss Planet NZ 2014.

Miss Five Crowns NZ is a national New Zealand beauty pageant, which offers five Crowns to five Beauty Queens, with the winners representing the country overseas. The Pageant aims to encourage empowerment while building self-esteem and confidence for young women to be leaders for tomorrow.

“It is not just enough to have a pretty face; it must be expressive and tell a wordless story. It is another form of art,” Shaayal said.

-Venkat Raman

(Pictures of Shaayal Gounden were supplied)

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