The crowning of the first annual Miss Valentine took place at the Ezibeleni zone 3 community hall on Saturday.
Ezibeleni youth leader Avela Qwalela said the event was a project started in November last year and initiated by the youth of Ezibeleni for young girls. He said the young citizens were taught about various career paths and leadership. Qwalela added that the pageant was for contestants who participated in the sessions to present information obtained during the engagements.
“It is to develop young girls because their focus is often distorted. Men go through a rite of passage when they are initiated into manhood, but there are no platforms like that for women. We wanted to surround them with people who can mould them. It is a project that allows them to walk with confidence and believe in their abilities.”
Qwalela said the project was spearheaded by a group from Ezibeleni called Konoraz.
“The winners of this pageant will be local ambassadors and will serve in various non-profit organisations in the area. We want them to be familiar with what is happening around them and find ways to assist.”
Qwalela said the 10 contestants would be provided with extra classes free of charge for four months to assist with their academics, courtesy of Siphosethu Fatyela. The top four contestants will receive clothing vouchers from Cazabella online clothing shop and monetary gifts from former Lukhanji mayor Nozibele Makanda.
Qwalela acknowledged Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality speaker Bongiwe van Heerden who organised the venue for them.
Miss Valentine 2020 Kuhle Nodida,16, said she was looking forward to working in community projects. “I am happy I was able to showcase my talent so that other young people can do the same.”
Miss Social 2020, Aluve Mpiti,17, who received 524 likes on the Miss Valentine 2020 Facebook page, said she was overwhelmed and appreciated the opportunity.