The Mr and Miss Queenstown pageant was launched in style at the event’s first annual fundraising gala dinner held at Q’bana on Saturday.
Director Sihle Galawa said the project was launched to bring about change in the community of Komani in the form of youth development. “We are planning to host the pageant annually and we are looking for ambassadors we can use to motivate young girls and boys. We decided to include young men in the competition as well, because there are no campaigns to empower them and men are labelled as victimisers of young girls. What better way then to include them in this project?” Galawa said the dinner was to raise funds for the crowning event which will take place on March 21.
The occasion was attended by an array of speakers who were there to motivate and give support to the finalists.
One of the speakers, businesswoman and Kia Queenstown ambassador Zodwa Gqwaka, said she spoke on purpose and positioning oneself for opportunities. “I am pro all events that are aimed at youth development. This is a great initiative because, as we have seen, the modelling space is now no longer just about beauty, it is no longer about aesthetics, it is about the brain, passion and the vision. If Zozibini Tunzi is anything to go by, we have seen that she is a powerhouse. She is not just about beauty but brains as well. This will motivate girls not just to look pretty, but to think and to not only think for themselves, but those around them,” she said.
Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa 2019 finalist, Shirley Jones-Ndaba said contestants must always remember why they entered the pageant. “This will sustain their dream whether or not they are crowned. Pageantry is now not about the most beautiful girl or the greatest body. It has evolved to be an empowerment program that brings about change in society. It also seeks to empower the community, youth and young adults by teaching them values and acts of selflessness and being role models in a world that has lost its standards of what a girl, young adult and guy should be.”
Jones-Ndaba, who is also one of the judges, urged supporters to sponsor the initiative. “I pray sponsors come on board and see the vision of pageantry. We need to unite, work together and support initiatives such as this so we can grow. Dr Ndaba and Partners will sponsor this initiative, not because they have money, but because they believe in the positive impact it has on youth, young adults and the community at large,” she said.