Childhood dream could become reality
WHAT started off as a childhood dream could be a reality for a local beauty pageant hopeful.
Zeenath Desai has already made it to the top 25 of the Mrs Africa finalists and believes she has what it takes to be crowned the ultimate winner.
“I am committed with my whole heart,” she said.
The mother of two young boys told The Star that her love for pageants began when she was just a child.
“I remember being a young girl and watching the Miss South Africa pageants, I must have been 12 years old.
“It was a huge thing in our household, we’d all sit around the TV to watch it and I think from a young age it has always been embedded in me.”
Now at 40, Desai decided to take the plunge earlier this year and enter the competition.
She made it through several elimination rounds and as the finale approaches, she is preparing for the ultimate showdown.
The senior sales executive for an insurance company admits that she was hesitant to enter but her loved ones encouraged her to follow her dreams.
“I never really wanted to put myself out there, but with the love, support and encouragement that came from my family and friends I eventually decided to put myself out there.”
It is this supportive foundation that has kept Desai’s head in the game.
“My family and friends have been my rock, they have been there for me every step of the way.”
The pageant hopeful believes she would be a Mrs Africa who makes the country at large proud.
If she is crowned winner, she said, she very much wants to make a difference to other women.
“I want to be a woman who inspires other women to see that it doesn’t matter what challenges you face in life, you can overcome.”
She believes she can make a difference in the lives of other people by working closely with charitable initiatives.
“I just want to give of myself to helping others, loving others and making a small impact in their lives.
“If you give of yourself, you can make a difference and impact on someone’s life.”
Some of the charities that she is involved with include Dignity Dreams Desk Bags, which provides sanitary pads to girls in need, as well as the Rand Epileptic Employment Association, which is a nonprofit organisation that provides care for people suffering from epilepsy and neurological disorders.
Desai is also passionate about working with the Soul Food organisation which provides 2.1 million meals a year to those in underprivileged schools, hostels, hospitals and shelters.
Overall, she wants to be Mrs Africa to spread love to all she comes across.
“I believe whatever I do in life, the secret is to love.”
The final round of the Mrs Africa pageant is due to take place in October.
LOVE IS THE SECRET: Mrs Africa contender Zeenath Desai wants to make a difference.