Three Eastern Cape candidates vying for Miss SA 2020
With 35 young women vying for the coveted title of Miss South Africa 2020 and three of the hopeful contenders originally from the Eastern Cape, one message seems to resonate with all three — stop violence against women and children and embrace who you truly are.
Brought up in Nelson Mandela Bay’s northern areas, Carla Peters, 20, of Bethelsdorp, said her primary goal was to inspire and empower young girls to have their voices heard to aid in changing the world for the better.
“It is time for every woman’s voice to become thunderous.
“We have the ability to build new paradigms, we are not wrong for demanding better for our sisters and humanity as a whole,” Peters said.
A full-time model with Boss Models in Cape Town, Peters spends four to five months travelling internationally and working in the UK and Europe while completing her part-time drama studies.
One of five children of a former domestic worker mother and father who worked as a chef, teacher and pastor, Peters said it was important for young girls and women in SA to know they had the ability to create the best life for themselves.
“If you can change your thoughts, you can change your life.
“Beauty pageants are important because they give young individuals the platform to enrich and empower themselves, to be seen as a role model to others and to uplift society,” Peters said.
A self-proclaimed “traditional girl” who enjoys vetkoek and mince, Peters said as a daughter of the soil she only knew the unity and strength of the country. It was discrimination against people of different colour, races, religions or genders that had no place in society.
Fellow home-grown talent Aphelele Mbiyo, 24, born in Mthatha but raised in Miramar, said she saw the opportunity of being crowned Miss SA as a way to equip young girls to become their best selves.
“I want to set up an academy called GIRL GET UP which focuses on building girls in leadership, from their mindset that ultimately influences their actions and changes the trajectory of their lives,” Mbiyo said.
Currently living in Lonehill, Johannesburg, Mbiyo is an integrated marking communications graduate who works for a food franchise group. She said she would want to change the pace and urgency of dealing with gender-based violence.
“Society should not accept the behaviour of abuse on women as normal,” Mbiyo said.
The daughter of a regional court magistrate father and retired mother, Mbiyo said it was important for her to bring people together in a cohesive and meaningful way.
Born and raised in Butterworth and now living in Sunninghill in Cape Town, Melissa Nayimuli, 24, said it was her upbringing with a Xhosa-speaking mother and Ugandan father that had made her want to bring about change when dealing with issues of xenophobia.
“I would like to start conversations that are aimed at repairing the damage caused by xenophobia, not only in South Africa but all over the African continent.
“This is not only a South African problem, it is not only an African problem, it is a global issue,” Mayimuli said.
Armed with a BA degree in motion picture medium and working as an accounts manager for a marketing company, Nayimuli said while what she loved most about SA was our sense of humour, it was issues of gender-based violence that needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
One of five children of a retired lecturer father and nurse mother, Nayimuli said her message to young girls would be to make their voices heard.
The Miss SA 2020 event is scheduled to take place in August.