Chantelle Pretorius, a former Hoërskool Hangklip pupil, is the new Miss Deaf SA.
FORMER Hangklip pupil Chantelle Pretorius is the new Miss Deaf South Africa (MDSA).
Pretorius was crowned at the State Theatre in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Rep reported (“Chantelle flies flag at pageant”, July 28) that the University of the Free State graduate was set to represent the Eastern Cape at the MDSA on September 15.
“It is a great honour to be crowned as Miss Deaf SA. On entering the competition, I realised that I really wanted the title as I believe that I can make a difference in other people’s lives.”
She attributed her win to “being herself” throughout the pageant and said she was glad that the judges could see her enthusiasm.
“I had to face my fear of public speaking – I never thought I had it in me to speak to the masses. I found it a bit challenging to stand in front of a big crowd, but I enjoyed the pageant a lot.”
The pageant has been running for 12 years with the vision of inspiring and giving opportunities to young deaf women in the country.
Mzanzi Skills Village CEO Leviena Smit said MDSA was one of its legacy programmes.
“Over the past three years, the competition has expanded and has grown into a cause that enjoys multi-channel media attention and assistance from a few successful organisations,” Smit said.
The contestants were judged on their beauty, self-confidence, leadership and talent.
“The legacy programme serves to amplify the voice of the deaf in the form of an annual MDSA pageant which enables the finalists to experience a transformational journey through leadership, personal and skills development programmes,” Smit said.
Pretorius said she prepared herself physically by getting into shape and by approaching people who assisted her on her journey.
“The competition was life-changing for me. I learnt a lot about myself and about my fellow contestants. I would advise anyone who wants to enter, to do so and just to enjoy the experience.”