Miss Africa USA 2007: Delegate Aida Ouattara of Burkina Faso
Her early bouts with rejection and the unexpected divorce of her parents at the age of 8 greatly influenced her desire to excel in life.
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First published: October 6, 2007
Born on August 9th, 1988 in Harare, Zimbabwe but raised in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Aida Ouattara is the only daughter with an older brother and a younger brother. Her early bouts with rejection and the unexpected divorce of her parents at the age of 8 greatly influenced her desire to excel in life. In 2001, she immigrated to the United States with her family and attended Roberto Clemente Junior High School where she graduated in the top 10 of her class.
Below is Aida Ouattara's UGPulse interview with UGPulse Beauty Editor, Pauline Long.
The 2007-2008 Miss Africa Scholarship Pageant Awards
Can you please tell us briefly about your background?
My name is Aida Ouattara and I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe but my parents are from Burkina Faso so that is where I was raised. The funny story is that my parents went to Zimbabwe for a short 4 week vacation but I was born before they had time to get back to Burkina Faso.
What was your drive behind entering this prestigious beauty pageant?
I want to represent my country because in New York, everyone is for themselves; we are not very united so maybe this is a way to bring us together. This is also a way to get out there and get to meet people from different backgrounds and learn about their culture. I am sure this will be an experience I will never forget. Unlike many countries, in Burkina Faso there is not any religious tension, we all respect each other's beliefs and we all celebrate every holiday. For example, on a Muslim holiday you'll see Christians enjoying themselves and joining Muslims to celebrate.
You must have a lot of passion for your country of origin to enter Miss Africa USA, what is it you
love most about it?
What I love the most about my country is that we are very welcoming, it does not matter what your nationality or religious belief might be. Burkina means "Men of Integrity" and Faso means "Father's House" so being in Burkina Faso is just like being in your own home.
What book are you currently reading?
I am currently reading GIVING by former President of the United States Bill Clinton, which is a non-fictional book that describes projects that can help save lives and resolve many issues around the World.
What's the one thing you would never do without?
I know I should probably say water but seriously, I'm addicted to my cell phone. It is how I keep in touch with the people I love the most, from my grandmother to my little brother.
What are your favourite spots in Africa?
If you're ever visiting Africa, here are the top three places you should visit, and they are also my favorites: - Banfora, a small town in Burkina Faso, which has the most beautiful hidden water fall.
- Ivory Coast has great food and has a very beautiful city which at night you might think you are on Time Square in New York City.
- Goree Island also known as "the slave house" in Senegal is a historical site to visit because it played such an important part in slavery.
How would you describe beauty in the eyes of an African woman?
Beauty in the eyes of an African woman is not about the pretty clothes or the perfect manicure or all those golden jewellery, it's about all the sacrifices she is ready to do for her family, the respect she has towards herself and others, the natural smile that comes from within her soul. Oh and curvier the better, that's what my mom always told me...lol.
How would you sell Africa as an ambassador to USA and the rest of the world?
I would love to prove to people around the world that there is more to Africa than just HIV/AIDS, hunger, poverty and war because behind all those headlines, Africa is a continent full of passionate, loving and caring people who live normal lives just like in America.
What are your inspirations and what do you aspire to be?
I'm very inspired by all the humanitarians such as Nelson Mandela who fight for Africa and the world to be a safer place for generations to come. I aspire to become a Business Woman and bring a lot of tourist attractions to places in Africa that many people ignore. I also strive to make it easier for HIV infected people in Africa to get their medicine for free because many of them cannot afford it.
Why do you want to be crowned Miss Africa United States?
I want to be crowned Miss Africa United States because I am not doing this for just a title, the fame or whatever it is that comes with it. I am doing this because I want to use my voice to prove a point to the world that Africa is a beautiful safe place to visit and enjoy, and winning the Miss Africa USA will help facilitate my goals.
Have you got any beauty tips you would like to share with UGPulse readers?
9- Hum... beauty tips, I wasn't always a girly girl so I am clueless when it comes to beauty tips but I know that there is a natural ingredient in strawberries that whitens your teeth so before you brush your teeth, smash a few strawberries and mix it with your toothpaste, enjoy the sweetness.
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First published: October 6, 2007
Pauline Long, UGPulse Beauty Editor, is a Kenyan based in the UK. She is the founder and CEO of Miss East Africa UK and Pol Management (a celebrity and events management company). She is also the co-founder of Miss West Africa. Her beauty pageant Miss East Africa UK helps raise funds and create awareness for the plight of the underprivileged East African children. Pauline is also the co-founder of Big 5 charity: a charity for the African girl child.
Pauline was born into a family of fashion designers with her mum being the pioneer and her role model. She acquired the desire and eyes for style from her mother who has been in the industry for just over forty years. During her late teens whilst living in Kenya, she worked in her mother's hairdressing salon and boutique. However her writing skills started off as a hobby in 2002 when she took time off work to become a fulltime mother and look after her two children. She soon took up the challenge of writing scripts which she hopes one day may turn into blockbuster movies or television dramas.
Currently, Pauline writes for various publications including Europe's leading African newspaper -Africa News and The African Channel. She's also part of the team publishing the new Karama Umuntu magazine. As a researcher and presenter for 601TV, Pauline presented for 601tv at the Alternative London Fashion Week in March, Europe's largest bridal show in April and in the same month she had one to one interviews on behalf of 601tv with various Ugandan top musicians including Bobi Wine, Blue 3*, Chagga, Nubian, Iryn, Buchaman, comedian Amarula family. This was when they toured the UK to perform at the Fire in the city gig.
You can find out more about Pauline and her work at: