Khayelitsha beauty pageant contestant Nelly Maramncwa, 20, will represent the country in the 2018 Miss Eagle South Africa pageant in Sandton in December.
Nelly, however, needs local votes to help her bring home the crown so she can empower other young women.
Should she win the title, she plans to spend more time interacting with disadvantaged young girls to encourage them and empower them.
She said with the crown and title come responsibilities and she has to work hard to have it.
“I entered because I want to make a change and improvement in young people’s futures. When I was young I wanted to enter beauty contests so that one day I could become Miss South Africa but I could not because I had scars on my face.
“What I like about this contest is that they require you to provide help to others,” she told Vukani.
She knows of what is expected of her and is looking forward to the challenge.
She said entrants from Khayelitsha and other disadvantaged townships should be among the contestants.
“We sometimes look down on ourselves and kind of degrade what we have. We should be up there, among the best because we are the best.
Young people should be encouraged at all times to love themselves, their bodies and other people. It should not be a crime to walk tall and love yourself.
Beauty pageants instil that love in oneself. We should urge and encourage young girls to enter the pageants,” she said.
Nelly went to Hoërskool Fochville in Gauteng. She is currently doing a course in financial accounting at SBI Institute in Athlone and plans on studying biotechnology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology next year.
To vote for Nelly, SMS Nelly to 35334.