A Queen In The Making
Drum English|23 January 2020
This pageant princess is ready to take on the world
Qhama dayile 

She struts down the driveway, a giant tiara perfectly poised on her head. Little Olwethu Mhlongo is practising for the upcoming International Junior Miss 2020 which takes place in Texas in the United States.

Parading on the paved driveway of her grandmother’s house in Protea Glen, Soweto, has already helped the pint-size beauty queen win 48 contests across the country over the past three years.

“This is what I was born to do – modelling and maths are my best friends,” she tells us.

Olwethu’s grandmother, Prudence Mhlongo, beams as she listens to the seven-year-old.

“I honestly don’t know where Olwethu got the confidence to speak the way she does, but thank God. All I want to do is to keep motivating her to give her best.”

Prudence (50) has raised the little girl since she was a baby and couldn’t be prouder that Olwethu has been chosen to represent South Africa on the world stage. The Miss Little Soweto Ambassador wants to add another one to her glittering collection of crowns.

Her 48 tiaras are proudly displayed in the wall unit of their modest lounge for visitors to see.

“They must see I’m God’s favourite princess,” Olwethu says, “and they must see my piano certificate and my maths certificate.”

The Grade 2 learner is looking forward to excelling at school this year – like she did last year when she obtained 4 As, including for one of her favourite subjects, maths.

She wants to make a success of her life – just like her favourite beauty queen, Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.

“I love her, and I can’t wait to meet her one day and maybe share a stage with her. Do you know her hair looks just like mine? Natural,” Olwethu says, stroking her afro.

The little girl had terrible experiences with the chemicals used to process her hair until she was inspired by glamorous Zozi to rock her natural hair.

“Every time I take her to the salon the chemicals burn her scalp and she always leaves crying because most pageants want her to either braid her hair, wear a wig or relax her hair, and that gives her sores,” Prudence says.

“After she saw Zozi’s haircut she refused to put chemicals on her hair.”

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