Miss Soweto wants to create a sisterhood
DESPITE outgrowing self-esteem issues and being bullied and victimised for her physical stature from a young age, Nokukhanya Kunene overcame the remarks of naysayers.
The 22-year-old was crowned Miss Soweto this past weekend and is ready to be the anchor and hope in her immediate community that many young girls desperately yearn for.
“I want to tackle mental health and orchestrate seminars with young girls, particularly because people go through depression and anxiety and don’t know what to do or who to turn to. I want to create a sisterhood, in essence,” said Kunene.
She is completing her degree in linguistics and sociology at the University of Johannesburg and said she was fortunate that her course and her passion were intertwined because both roles enabled her to assist people from different walks of life. Her role model duties began at home, as she is the first-born daughter to three younger girls.
“Being a first-born comes with a lot of pressure but I genuinely enjoy it. I pass down all the lessons I have learned to my younger sisters and they are my motivation to always do and be my best,” she said. When asked about the modelling industry, where weight and looks were important, Kunene said beauty pageants were not about physical appearances but rather giving back to the community.
She was always teased about being skinny and tall. “I outgrew my self-esteem issues and figured that this was the only body that I had. I need to accept it so I can inspire girls going through the same thing,” she said.
Kunene walked away with a prize package worth more than R350 000, including a R100 000 cash prize and an opportunity to be the brand ambassador for White Star. She plans to invest the prize in her studies.
Miss Soweto 2018, Nokukhanya Kunene