Botha’s Hill lass crowned

2016-09-20 06:00
Miss Upper Highway 2016, Kaylor Barker. Photo: supplied

Miss Upper Highway 2016, Kaylor Barker. Photo: supplied

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BOTHA’S Hill modelling sensation Kaylor Barker was crowned Miss Upper Highway 2016 at Watercrest Mall last weekend.

The title comes as a welcome surprise for this 22-year-old as she has always struggled with confidence.

“Modelling isn't a career for me - I do it occasionally when I help people out with photoshoots or when they need a model. I attended some modelling courses a few years back. I was a very shy child and had a few personal hurdles I had to conquer.

“I decided it was time for me to break out of my shell and be more open to the world.

“This will always be in the back of my mind, but with each step I have learnt to love myself and that is when I chose to [participate in] my first pageant. This was Miss Upper Highway 2015. I was crowned first princess and this was the start of the 'pageant bug'.

“I loved every moment of it, meeting new people, the dressing up part and doing it for a purpose.”

Speaking about her win, Barker said that Miss Upper Highway is a great platform to help others.

“With this pageant the organisers have done great work for their current beneficiary Siyabajula Orphanage. I would like to thank Salome Gouws for creating this event for girls and boys to enter. I look forward to working with Miss Upper Highway family and making the community a better place, one step at a time.”

Barker’s other achievements include being chosen as an international finalist from South Africa in the Miss British Empire pageant on 3 September in London. She was a top 10 finalist, and placed fourth overall. The pageant included girls from Australia, Myanmar­ and England.

“It was a great opportunity to compete as I got to meet wonderful people, all with a good heart, and I was able to bring a bit of South Africa to them, which they enjoyed,” said Barker.

As a modelling icon in the Upper Highway area, Barker uses her fame to try and do as much charity work as possible.

“I love to run for charity and volunteer my time at animal shelters. This year my friend and I took part in the ECR Big Walk and used that as a platform to raise money for an organisation, Pinetown Highway Child and Family Welfare Society that was in dire need of help.

“It was difficult to choose, but they do wonderful work for women and children so we thought it was fitting to support them,” she added.

Barker said she draws inspiration from her role models - her parents.

“My parents have guided me through life’s challenges, taught me the difference between wrong and right and given me the choice to develop my own opinions on life.

“No matter the struggle they have always provided and made sure we had clothes on our back, a roof over our head and our tummy is well fed. “They are an inspiration to me to always work hard for what you want in life and never give up.

Her motto - “One act of random kindness goes a long way, even if it is a smile to a stranger or a positive comment.

“A small thing that will make a big difference. I hope that more people will adopt this and create a better community for people to live in.”

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