Miss Unity SA finalist returns to encourage girls

Miss Unity SA 2019 finalist, Achumile Ralane, who grew up in Mlungisi, Komani, empowered girls at St Bede’s Primary School in Tylden recently.

The 18 year-old Johannesburg-based student had entered her first pageant early this year in a quest to find a niche in the modelling industry. Ralane said her decision to take part in the competition was motivated by what the pageant stood for. “The Miss Unity South Africa (MUSA) pageant is an initiative for women between the ages of 16 and 28. It is about women empowerment. It is about helping women to elaborate and create what they can be or do. It serves as a platform for women to reunite and end hatred among themselves.”

Ralane, who was among the top four contenders on the semi-finalist voting list, said the pageant required contenders to perform tasks that would contribute to one of them receiving the coveted crown.

“One of the compulsory tasks I needed to be involved in was a motivational talk at any school of my choice. I chose to go back home and use this opportunity as my way of giving back to my community. I chose a farm school, mainly because they rarely get someone to give talks on societal issues faced by locals in that community. Topics were based on woman upliftment, girl hate and the importance of uniting as girls.” Ralane donated school ties to the young girls as a token of appreciation.

She indicated that her passion for modelling developed at a young age, admitting that she then suffered from low self-esteem. “I struggled with self-confidence at a young age and that was one of the things that always stopped me from entering pageants. I later realised the importance of outgrowing certain things in order to be able to fulfil your dreams. Through the tasks that have been carried out in the pageant I have learnt so much and I’m still learning as the journey has not yet come to an end.”

“Thanks to Tiisetso Bopape and Lesego Boya, the founders of MUSA, my mother, Neziswa Ralane, and my friend, Ziphozikhona Mbebe, for assisting in the motivational talk. A special thank you to my grandmother, Nokuzola Ralane, for helping me find a perfect school for the community service and the rest of my team for making this possible.”

She said dates for the finale have not been confirmed but the crowning would take place in September. “I’m very excited and looking forward to bringing the crown home,” she said.

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