Who is Zulekha Haywood? All about the daughter of supermodel Iman


Zulekha Haywood is a business analyst and magazine editor who is also the daughter of the NBA champion with LA Lakers, Spencer Haywood, and his ex-wife and former supermodel, Iman Abdulmajid. Zulekha has often been mentioned among the general public because of her loyalty to her famous parents.

And although a child of famous celebrities, Zulekha has always been out of the spotlight of the media. She has previously immersed herself in the corporate world. Despite that, her daily routine has been rather difficult in the past, as it was quite a predicament; struggling with body weight, especially when her parents were always in the spotlight.

There was also a lot more involved in her weight loss journey than just diets and body image issues. Now her candor about her weight issues has become somewhat of an inspiration to many. Her story therefore includes triumph that came from good parenting and sometimes self-acceptance. Read more about her; how exactly was her life as a famous child, how she overcame her eating disorder, how marriage front, and children, among others.

Zulekha Haywood lives in Wichita Kansas

Although Haywood is a New Yorker born and raised, she now lives in Wichita, Kansas. Spencer & Iman’s only daughter, Zulekha Haywood, was born on July 5, 1978.

Business analyst Zulekha Haywood as a child with her mother and ex-supermodel, Iman, in 1980.
Supermodel and entrepreneur Zulekha Haywood with her and Spencer Haywood’s daughter, Zulekha Haywood in 1980. From Instagram

Zulekha, a Cancerian, attended Mercy High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Michigan State University.

Zulekha Haywood siblings

The now 44-year-old Zulekha’s siblings are Alexandria Zahra Jones, Duncan Jones, Isis Haywood, Shakira Haywood and Courtney Nikkiah Haywood.

Although Zulekha is the only child of Spencer & Iman, the New York native has different siblings from each of her parents’ relationship.

Zulekha has three sisters, Nikiah, Isis and Shakira Haywood from her father’s other relationship besides Iman. The Wichita resident’s mother, Iman, also has children of her own from her other relationship. Maternally, Zulekha’s half-siblings include Alexandria Zahra-Jones and Duncan Jones.

Haywood parents Iman and Spencer were married for 10 years

Zulekha’s famous parents, the six-foot-eight-inch ex-power forward and the ex-Vogue model, were together from the late 1970s to the late 1980s.

Spencer married Iman in 1977 and the couple remained married until the year 1987. When he met Iman, Spencer was an LA Lakers player at the time. On the other hand, Iman was also one of the most sought-after models.

Zulekha's parents, Supermodel Iman with ex NBA star, Spencer Haywood.
Zulekha’s parents, Iman and Spencer.

When they had only one child together and that was Zulekha. After the couple’s divorce, Spencer and Iman engaged in quite a lengthy custody battle; one that ran for over six years.

Although it was one of two, it was the actress/entrepreneur who triumphed. After ending her marriage to Zulekha’s father, Iman married British singer and actor and Magic Dance singer David Bowie. She remained his wife until the rock star’s death in January 2016.

Who is Zulekha Haywood’s husband?

Zulekha, the daughter of an NBA champion, has always kept herself away from her parent-esque fame, despite occasionally talking about her weight loss. That said, not much has been disclosed about her personal life.

44-year-old Zulekha with her husband Jason Young in November 2021
Invista employee Zulekha with her husband and restaurateur, Jason Young in November 2021. Facebook

Nonetheless, what’s pretty much out in the open is the fact that Zulekha is married to her longtime boyfriend, Jason Young, presumably a restaurant owner, according to Facebook. Born in 1978, the business analyst and Young apparently married each other in November 2016.

Haywood has a daughter with her husband

Zulekha and Young, who married in late 2016, are also parents to a daughter, Lavinia Rose Young, whom they welcomed in July 2017.

Zulekha Haywood has a daughter with her husband
Ex Jay Manuel Beauty project manager Zulekha Haywood with her newborn daughter.

Both news apparently came from the Instagram posts of Zulekha’s husband, Young. The reveal was also made by both of Haywood’s parents, Iman and Spencer, via each of their Instagram handles.

Zulekha has also been in a relationship with a man named Eric in the past. He is apparently still friends with the supermodel’s daughter.

Zulekha has worked for many senior level companies

Unlike her parents, Zulekha Haywood is neither a star athlete nor a supermodel. While trying to be a power forward, she stopped halfway through thinking she wasn’t natural at it.

The New York native is now more of a business analyst. Over the years, Zulekha has worked at various multinational companies in different states, mostly at the executive level.

Zulekha with her mother and Iman Cosmetics founder Iman in January 2011.
Haywood with her mother Iman in January 2011. Wire Image

She started her career by working first at her mother’s company, Iman Cosmetics. Zulekha was initially Executive Assistant Office Manager in New York; a position she got in 2002.

She eventually got the role of Account Manager in 2005; Haywood handled all the major accounts of her mother’s company. In 2007, Zulekha became Iman Cosmetics Planning and Procurement manager, after which she got many more high profile connections. As a result, the daughter of the Somali-born model developed alliances with some other major companies such as Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, HSN, and Walgreens.

Zulekha would leave her mother’s company in 2014 and that same year she became Project Manager and Brand Analyst for Jay Manuel Beauty.

She stayed there for two years, after which the gold medalist’s daughter moved to another company, Portu Sunberg, where she worked as an inventory analyst. In that role, Zulekha oversaw the development of several client programs. In addition to corporate positions, Zulekha has also worked as a content writer and editor for magazines and advertising departments of various companies.

The 44-year-old LinkedIn states that she now works at Invista in Wichita, Kansas. There she works as a Procurement, Customer Relationship Specialist and Demand Analyst.

The True Story of Her Struggle with Obesity; Was over 330lbs

Zulekha Haywood, an overweight child, has been on a diet more or less since she was eight years old. Although the Mercy High School graduate says none of them worked.

Zulekha attributes her excessive weight to her habit of snacking late at night, looting the fridge and cupboards after midnight. She was almost always in danger of overeating.

Magazine editor Zulekha Haywood in her former self with her late stepfather David Bowie.
Iman’s daughter, Zulekha Haywood in her former weight with her late stepfather David Bowie. From Instagram

Her first attempt at losing weight was through the Basta diet (which means enough in Italian) that her mother, Iman, kept for her.

The now Wichita native’s second diet regimen was “Eat Like a Pig, Run Like a Horse,” which she did under the supervision of her NBA legend father. It was necessary for her to eat the food according to her weight and then burn it by grinding herself for more hours in the field.

Before this, the 1980 Olympian tried to groom his daughter, Zulekha, as a power forward. But it turns out she wasn’t naturally into it.

Suchha later tried to play tennis, which helped her lose 30 pounds, but by Christmas that year she put on another 20 pounds. The daughter of a beauty icon says she never had the discipline for her father’s diet plan.

Haywood felt insecure about her body

Zulekha admits she felt insecure looking at her handsome and athletic parents versus her own image. Haywood, who is said to be six feet tall, often considered himself an outlier.

In between, Zulekha decided to ditch her diet plans and just go with the flow. The Kansas-based business analyst says her life was full of love, fun and adventure after that, but her health problems soon started to resurface as her BMI reached 46 (expected 18 to 25).

The ex-account manager revealed since she was 330 pounds heel spurs and swollen knees. All this made it excruciatingly painful for her to get up after lying down for eight hours.

The content writer says she has gone out of her way to love her super-sized body. But the doctors warned her about her then-morbid obesity and also warned her about the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

How Zulekha Haywood Overcame Her Weight Problem?

After being at risk for other conditions in addition to being overweight, Zulekha decided she couldn’t keep up with the pain she was experiencing from her 20s to 30s. She finally decided to lose her excess weight.

By this time she already had osteoarthritis and high blood pressure.

The physical pain I endured in my twenties could not continue into my thirties. I had to lose weight.

said the occasional advertiser. When she was 28, she decided to go for gastric bypass; a week later she had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

After that, however, she would quickly develop complications and had to report to the ICU with a need for a second surgery. The operation was eventually successful.

Despite hurdles and health risks, Zulekha says she found happiness in her journey from 330 pounds to 168 pounds.

Zulekha Haywood Other Facts

  • While Zulekha is fairly active on Facebook, mostly shouting at her father, husband, daughter and mother and initiating fundraisers, the customer relationship specialist is quite a no-show on Instagram.


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