21 April 2019


Miss Teen Universe made in Bokone Bophirima


Obakeng Maje


A 16 year-old model from Mahikeng was crowned Miss Teen Universe 2016 two weeks go in Bodrum, Turkey. Taahirah Zungu also walked away with Miss Sympathy, Photo Model of the Universe and the Best Talent in the teen category titles.

Zungu told Semphete in an interview that she felt overwhelmed by being crowned Miss Teen Universe and realized that the title comes with huge responsibilities. "I will be engaged in a lot of charity work across the world. I've already started visiting old age homes, orphanages and hospitals. I am also expected to come up with a few solutions to challenges facing the society. However, I am optimistic about achieving my objectives. "My passion as a model was inspired by my sister, Sharifah Zungu, who is a fashionista. We started to have a sibling competition after realising that we are both passionate about modeling," Zungu said.

The Grade 11 pupil at Sol Plaatjie Secondary School in Mahikeng said she received huge support from her family. She said her mother always encouraged her to be positive. "I always encourage my peers to spend more time on our books rather than indulging in alcohol, drugs, crime and sexual intercourse. Many teenagers are faced with lots of challenges like pregnancy and forgetting about their schoolwork. "I want to further my studies and study architecture. I love drawing and I believe I can go far," Zungu said.

The Miss Teen Universe said she learnt a lot from her Bodrum trip. She also lauded Lesco Events founder, Lesego Molamu, and other stakeholders who sponsored her trip. Zungu's modeling will soon see her visiting India and USA. She's been to Costa Rica, Mexico and France before.

Taahirah Zungu's mother, Jacqueline Zungu said: "I am very grateful for having a child like Taahirah. She is focused. We share everything and it is always good to have that mother and daughter relationship." Zungu competed against 19 girls from around the world. Pageants SA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and African Director of the World League of Beauty and Fashion (WLBF), Carolyn Botha, said she is confident that Taahirah Zungu will have a wonderful and incredible year as Miss Teen Universe. "Her sparkling personality, friendliness, compassion towards her fellow contestants, ability to communicate across language barriers and general interaction with everyone she came into contact with during the competition earned her the internationally acclaimed title of Miss Teen Universe2016. "The duties awaiting her include her active involvement in keeping children in school by supplying desk bags to children in areas where schools do not have desks and also distributing Mimi sanitary towels to girls from disadvantaged communities," Botha said.

Bokone Bophirima Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, congratulated Zungu for her prestigious achievement. "Through her achievement, Taahirah joins a list of Bokone Bophirima achievers that we are extremely proud of. On behalf of the provincial government, we join South Africans in congratulating her for this stunning achievement. Achievements of this nature contribute meaningfully to the efforts of the 5th administration to rebrand, reposition and renew Bokone Bophirima," Mahumapelo said.

Caption: Miss Teen Universe, Taahirah Zungu Caption2: Miss Teen Universe, Taahirah Zungu with her mother, Jacqueline Zungu.