Being born with Down syndrome has not stopped Shumeez Scott, 18, from Lentegeur, from living her dreams.
A fortnight ago, the talented teenager was crowned Miss Magnificent Women International: Phenomenal Women in South Africa. She will jet off to Mumbai, India, to receive her crown on Sunday February 18.
The official crowning ceremony comes just a month before World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), on Wednesday March 21.
Her mother, Bahia, said she was very proud of her daughter – it was a dream come true for Shumeez.
“I have always tried my best to raise her with a positive attitude and encourage her to strive for what she wants in life. I have taught her not to give up just because she has Down syndrome.
“She has lived a normal life like any other child, and I have told her there is nothing different about her,” she said.
Last year, Shumeez also clinched the national Miss DS Ribbons4Roses SA 2017 pageant as well as the inaugural Miss MWI Phenomenal 2018/19.
According to her mom, Shumeez is very excited about winning the titles and is “loving the attention”.
Bahia said her daughter was still very much a “young girl” who loved being around her family. “She loves interacting with people, modelling and the camera.”
Behind all the glamour, Shumeez enjoys listening to music, dancing and simply sitting in front of the TV and knitting.
“This won’t be her first time on a plane,” Bahia said. “She travelled to Umrah in 2015, but she is very excited about going to India as she keeps asking me, ‘Mom why is the 18th taking so long to come?’”
Bahia said the whole family had been very supportive of Shumeez’s achievements.
“They all have been phenomenal in supporting her from the start. She has a task team that has been helping her with raising funds, so she could go on this trip to receive her world title.”