Onndwela Makananise was selected as a finalist in the Miss Teen South Africa 2021 pageant. Picture supplied.
“One thing I learned early as a child is that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. That simple quote by Eleanor Roosevelt helped me become the woman I am today.”
This piece of wisdom comes from Onndwela Makananise (20) from Louis Trichardt, a finalist in the Miss Teen South Africa 2021 pageant.
“I joined beauty pageants after watching Miss South Africa, Tamaryn Green, competing at the Miss Universe [pageant] in 2018,” she said. “I was inspired by how proud she was of her country and by her advocacy. She made me realise that our experiences can influence how we behave and how we see life.”
Onndwela then went on a mission to make her voice heard. She advocates the fight against mental health problems to remove the harmful stigma surrounding them.
“Beauty pageants give me a platform to speak about things that matter and need to be spoken about,” she said. “After watching as many pageants as I could, I took part in my first pageant – Miss International Princess in 2019 - and ended up in the top five. I did pretty well for my first pageant and that fuelled my passion to continue and work to become the best version of myself I can be.”
Onndwela has worked hard over the years, establishing herself in the modelling industry. So far, she has been chosen as second princess in the Miss Queen of the World SA pageant and as a finalist in several ongoing pageants, including the Mini Miss RSA (24 - 26 Sept 2021), Miss Southern Hemisphere (27-28 August 2021), Miss Teen South Africa (10 Oct 2021), Miss Polokwane (December 2021) and Miss Limpopo (August 2021).
She aims to constantly push the boundaries of what she thinks she can achieve and to share her experiences with mental-health patients and the victims of gender-based violence. “I aim to take my story to an international level and will join pageants that will help me get there,” she said. “I have big dreams and no intention of being silent. Well, pageantry fees do add up and thus I am always actively looking for sponsors.”
To vote for Onndwela, go to www.pageants.co.za or SMS the code TSA819 to 47018. SMSes cost R2. Those who wish to assist her in climbing higher with donations can call or WhatsApp 065 985 8396.
Date:22 May 2021 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.