Paulina's journey from tomboy to Miss Namibia
Paulina Malulu wowed the judges with her elegance and beauty, when she won the Miss Namibia title over the weekend.
The 1,75m beauty says she is still trying to get her head around her win at the Windhoek Country Club and Casino on Saturday night, which has made her an overnight sensation.
Born in exile, shortly before independence, Paulina grew up in Windhoek after she returned to Namibia with her mother when she was just a two-month-old baby.
The 24-year-old beauty queen relates to tjil how she grew up as a tomboy. Her bubbly smile, however, turns into sadness as she speaks about how she used to be insecure about her height.
â€œGrowing up, kids used to tease me a lot because I was so tall and skinny. It was also hard finding the right clothes, as jeans that would fit at my hips would be too short,â€ she reveals.
She explains that because her height and skinny physic was always joked about, she began hanging out with boys and mostly had male friends growing up.
After completing her high school education, Paulina went to study beauty and skincare in South Africa and now runs a home-based salon in Windhoek. Despite Miss Namibia making her a household name, Paulina is not new to beauty pageants. Last year she represented Namibia at the Miss International Beauty Pageant. Paulina was the first-ever Namibian representative at this highly-prestigious contest, rated as the third biggest beauty pageant in the world after Miss Universe and Miss World. Paulina finished in the top 15.
In 2010 she entered the Miss Namibia pageant, but didn't make it into the top 12. She reveals that she didn't feel too disappointed at the time and was actually glad that she didn't win, because she felt unprepared.
However, this time around she was prepared - undergoing vigorous self-grooming sessions and making sure she was presentable at all times.
She says she also spent a considerable amount of time watching video clips of beauty pageants to prepare herself for Miss Namibia.
Paulina says she draws inspiration from Audrey Hepburn's quote: â€œWe are born with two hands, one for helping yourself and one for helping others.â€
The new Miss Namibia promises to constantly work towards helping others.
â€œI want to be remembered for what I did for others as Miss Namibia and not just for being a Miss Namibia,â€ she says softly.