Who is Zulekha Haywood?
Zulekha Haywood is an accomplished business analyst, more famously known as the daughter of supermodel-turned-entrepreneur, Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, and former NBA star player, Spencer Haywood. Shying away from the fame of her celebrity parents, Zulekha chose to blaze her own path and pursued a career in business. After getting her start at her mother’s company, Zulekha steadily climbed up the corporate ladder and made a name in the business world. She has worked at several multinational corporations across the U.S. in many senior roles. Throughout her childhood and youth, Zulekha struggled with obesity and finally underwent a gastric band surgery in her 20s that helped her tremendously. Zulekha is a very private person and not much is known about her husband and daughter. She is not active on social media, and currently juggles a full work and family life in the U.S.
Even though her parents were very accomplished in their respective fields, Zulekha did not have an aptitude for either of their professions. Struggling with her weight for many years, Zulekha was unable to follow in her mother’s modelling footsteps. Even though her professional basketball player father tried to train her in basketball and tennis, Zulekha realized that she was not a talented sportsperson.
Instead, Zulekha was interested in pursuing a career in business. She got her break working at her mother’s company, Iman Cosmetics. She started at the Executive Assistant Office Manager position in New York in 2002, learning the ropes of the business. She was promoted to the Account Manager role in 2005, where she handled all major accounts of the company, and in 2007, she was again promoted to the senior role of Planning and Procurement Manager. She gained much exposure in various departments on the company and fostered alliances with major corporations like Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, HSN and Walgreens in that role.
After working for more than 12 years at her mother’s company, Zulekha eventually moved on to a Project Manager and Brand Analyst role at Jay Manuel Beauty in 2014. Throughout her career, Zulekha constantly upgraded her skills and acquired new ones. After a two-year stint at Jay Manuel Beauty, Zulekha moved onto Portu Sunberg in 2016 as an Inventory Analyst, where she was heavily involved with the development of various customer programs. But she left the company within eight months for her next gig. Over her 15-year career, Zulekha also developed her skills as a content writer and editor for magazines and advertising departments of her various employers. As per her LinkedIn profile, Zulekha now works at McShares, Inc. as a Customer Relationship Specialist and Demand Analyst in Salina, Kansas.
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Family & Personal Life
Zulekha Haywood was born on July 5, 1978 in USA. Her mother is the Somali-American supermodel, Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, and her father is a former NBA player who played for New York Knicks and Seattle Supersonics. Her parents were married for 10 years before their divorce in 1987.
Zulekha has five siblings from her parents’ other relationships – three sisters, Nikiah, Isis and Shaakira Haywood from her father, and a half-sister, Alexandria Zahra-Jones and a half-brother, Duncan Jones, from her mother.
From a very early age, Zulekha struggled to keep off her weight and continued to have problems with it until later in her life. As an overweight child, Zulekha’s mother put her on the ‘Basta’ diet, wherein her mother would whisper ‘basta’ (‘enough’ in Italian) every time she overate. A young Zulekha temporarily gained some traction into her weight-loss journey but the mid-night snacking habit that she picked up from her father proved detrimental to her weight-loss efforts.
To make matters worse, Zulekha felt inadequate because she felt that she did not look as beautiful as her supermodel mother or physically fit like her Olympic gold medallist father. At one point, she weighed about 320 pounds and had tried almost every diet since she was eight years old. Her deteriorating health served as a wake-up call to Zulekha, who decided to go in for a gastric band surgery on her 28th birthday. The surgery helped her gain confidence, complete her education and embark on her successful career journey as well.
Zulekha studied at Mercy High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.
Zulekha has always preferred to stay away from the limelight and kept her personal life very private. Since she shies away from the paparazzi and social media, not much information is available about her romantic relationships Reportedly, in 2016, Zulekha married her longtime boyfriend, Jason Young, and the couple welcomed their daughter in 2017. Both the details were confirmed on one of her father’s Instagram posts.
Zulekha’s hobbies and passions include travelling, and playing active sports like tennis, volleyball and golf.