Cindy and her adorable Aenea are now closer than ever


Although appearance has played a big role in her career, one of the biggest lessons that Cindy Nell-Roberts continuously teaches her daughter is that she should not find her identity in materialism or beauty.

Characteristics such as a common sense, strong value system, leadership skills and genuine friendships are according to this model, businesswoman and former Miss. South Africa much more important and precisely things that she tries to cultivate in her young daughter, Aenea, since childhood.

“Aenea and I are the epitome of girly-girls. We love skincare, makeup, doing each other’s hair and making TikTok videos. We can spend hours talking and planning what we want to wear on our next holiday, but I always tell her: ‘Your looks will come and go, but your thoughts can never be taken away from you’. That’s what’s important,” says Cindy to RNews in the run-up to Mother’s Day.

Thanks to her mother’s fame, this adorable blonde daughter grew up in the spotlight and nowadays attracts attention herself as a model and influencer, but Cindy as a mother also always keeps a strict and watchful eye.

“If we completely deprive our children of social media, they will end up doing it behind our backs, and I therefore prefer to analyze and explore the pros and cons with them,” she explains.

“For your child to be on social media, you have to be involved and not leave them to their own devices. I control how much time can be spent on it, we have safety measures in place and also mutually agreed that the devices must be taken away completely at certain times.”

She especially encourages Aenea, who has modeled for brands such as Adidas and Gatorade, to be a creator and not just a consumer.

“Just taking in masses of information on social media is mindless, pointless and time consuming. When you create content, you learn and grow.”

Yet she admits that it is sometimes difficult to navigate parenthood in a technological age.

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“The challenge for us as the first generation whose children were born with advanced technology is to keep them anchored in real human relationships, but also to allow them to flourish in a world where technology is the future. I don’t think there is a right or wrong, everyone does what works for them.”

According to Cindy, despite the high-profile day, Aenea is still an ordinary and balanced young girl and “no princess”.

Academics also remain the highest priority.

“What makes her such a nice little girl is that you can take her camping, but just as easily let her walk the red carpet. She is very comfortable with people and attention and often seems unaffected by any external opinions. It’s one of my favorite qualities about her and one that I myself only learned as an adult.”

For Cindy, her creek’s calmness is “almost like a superpower”.

“Aenea is driven and competitive, but you would never tell because she only competes with herself and has a real desire to be the best version of herself.”

Roberts family is adjusting well to new home

Mother and daughter are now especially close than ever since the family’s recent big move to Melbourne, Australia, where Cindy and her husband, Clive, are expanding business opportunities for their company, Cosmetix.

According to Cindy, Aenea and her older brother, Ethan, have adjusted well.

“They are both thriving in their schools. After just three months in her new school, Aenea was named class captain by her peers, proof of the person she is. Ethan is already enjoying his new sports such as basketball and is a very talented chess player who has already joined the chess club here.”

Between the two siblings, according to his mother, Ethan is the “more relaxed” one, but still a boy in the truest sense of the word.

“He challenges me in a good way with our different views on technology, and in this way I learn from him again. He has also recently developed a love for cooking since he started at the new school where they do food science, so now we also enjoy cooking together.”

According to Cindy, the family has built a new kind of camaraderie between the four of them since their emigration and now spend much more family time together.

“The first few months were difficult. I almost didn’t make it through the transition. I found it very stressful and cried a lot,” admits Cindy.

“But just suddenly, then click everything, and then you move on. There is now a calm about our family that I have not experienced before. One thing about South Africans too, we are everywhere! Even our local doctor and pharmacist are South African, and we have already made some incredible friends who come from South Africa. I love that I hear so much Afrikaans around me in Melbourne.”

Mother-be a springboard and a gift for her

Although her life seems picture perfect, Cindy admits that like many other mothers she takes on the challenges and joys of parenthood “one day at a time”.

“Being a mother is a roller coaster from constant feelings of guilt, to feelings of escape. When you are with them, they drive you crazy. When they are gone, you worry about them. It’s the deepest type of love there is, but at the same time there aren’t enough hours in the day to get to yourself, which can often leave you feeling exhausted and lonely,” she shares candidly.

“It’s all one big beautiful journey. Enjoy the blessing and journey that motherhood offers, even with its detours. I believe in tackling motherhood with your heart; don’t overthink it.”

She describes her own mother, Marietjie Nell, as the “most patient, calmest, kindest and sweetest woman”.

“My mother raised me in faith and always prayed for me. I’ve always said I attribute my success to how supportive my parents were of my crazy dreams and ideas.”

Her wish for other mothers this Mother’s Day is to be kind to themselves.

“You are the perfect mother for your particular child. Everything is as it should be. Just take it one day at a time, and do your best every day.”