Posted by: pascoesabido | December 9, 2008

Heir and beauty? Sherifah aims to be crowned Miss Black Britain to boost charity

Camden News – by PASCOE SABIDO published in the Camden New Journal [see original article]
Published: 13 November 2008

SHERIFAH Ponle is all set to compete in the finals of Miss Black Britain – and is hoping a win will boost a charity set up in memory of her brother.
The 20-year-old will go up against fellow finalists in the beauty contest at the Leicester Square Theatre on November 22.
Sherifah, from Agar Grove, Camden Town, could win a prestigious modelling contract if she is successful in the event. She plans to use any success she achieves to raise the profile of a charity created following the death of her brother, Omar El-Aziz, who died four years ago, aged 22, after suffering from muscular dystrophy.
He passed away just a month after receiving a first-class honours degree in computer engineering.
Sherifah said: “We were very close. He’s the one who pushed me into going to university.”
The Omar Muscular Dystrophy Trust was officially launched this year to help with research into the genetic disease.
“We want to take it back to Africa,” said Sherifah, half-Ghanaian, half-Nigerian.
“Over there most people don’t know what muscular dystrophy is – they think it’s a curse.”
Through setting up a centre in Ghana, Sherifah and her family want to help and inform sufferers and their families.
The student is one of five siblings, and while caring for her family – Omar was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy aged only six, and her 18-year-old sister Simbi has severe learning difficulties – she has also mentored at a secondary school and worked with young people for various charities through the arts, dance and drama.


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