As an outsider looking at the pageantry world it is easy to assume that it is merely about girls competing against each other for the most beautiful girl title, however Kopano and Tshireletso and many other young hopefuls believe that beauty pageants play a vital role in our communities and can help one reach their full potential.
From humble beginnings in Zebediela, Limpopo to skyscraper buildings in Gauteng, Kopano Ednith Ledwaba (23) a journalist whose first love is modelling and now a semifinalist in Empress South Africa, hopes to make her mark in a city that is known to turn any dream into a reality.
On the other hand, Tshireletso took a leap of faith when she came across Empress South Africa and decided to enter the pageant, and as fate would have it, the 20-year-old from Mamelodi East is representing Gauteng.
Kopano says her interest in modelling started at an early age as she shares her fondest childhood memory, “growing up, I would practice poses while looking at myself in the mirror, sometimes I would wear my mother’s heels and walk around the house, however, growing up in a village like Zebediela, where there were no opportunities and platforms for modelling or beauty pageants, sadly I couldn’t pursue my passion. It was only when I moved to Gauteng that I decided to pursue modelling, and I joined CBB modelling agency” she adds.
“Beauty is showing compassion and love to people you don’t know” says Tshireletso Conciliah Mathekgane a semifinalist in Empress South Africa. “I came across Empress South Africa on Facebook and I noticed a lot of people showing interest in it, I felt inspired and decided to enter”.
It was in January when Kopano came across Empress South Africa that she decided to enter the beauty peagent, little did she know that she would be proudly representing Limpopo in the semifinals. Kopano says she sees it as an opportunity to inspire the young girls and boys in her community who are confronted by harsh realities of socioeconomic issues, that it doesn’t matter where you come from your dreams are valid.
Beauty pageants over the years have received a harsh criticism as they were perceived as a waste of time, and there was nothing to learn from them, Tshireletso tells a different tale “being a contestant in Empress South Africa has afforded me an opportunity to acquire new skills and learn new things. Being involved in community work has also helped boost my confidence, I now believe in myself”. She also says, the platform has given her an opportunity to reach out to young girls in her community.
“I would like for the young girls and boys to see me (Kopano) and think if she did it, so can I”. After experiencing the best of both rural and urban life, Kopano wants to make a positive impact in her community. One of her projects was launched in May, where she helped matriculants and members in the community across Zebediela with their online application for higher learning institutes and training.
To vote for Kopano, SMS Ednith to 35334 and to vote for Tshireletso, SMS Tshireletso to 35334, voting lines closes on 31 August 2019.
According to eaglemedia.co.za Empress South Africa is an online beauty pageant that focuses on beauty with brains and purpose. The beauty pageant dispels myths that people have towards pageants.
By: MEGAN SELLO