WORLD STAGE

Home­grown beauty’s in­cred­i­ble jour­ney

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Front Page -

Madiba’s firm and pas­sion­ate be­lief in the power of ed­u­ca­tion is one of the driv­ing forces that in­spired East Lon­don-born Thulisa Keyi to ful­fil one of her goals by reach­ing the fi­nal leg of the Miss World 2018 pageant in Sanya, China, on Satur­day.

Keyi, 26, was crowned Miss World SA at this year’s Miss South Africa cer­e­mony and says the jour­ney has been noth­ing short of amaz­ing.

“This is my first time trav­el­ling out­side the coun­try and it’s been ab­so­lutely amaz­ing.

“I’ve grown so much as a per­son and I’ve learnt so much about my­self.

“I’ve al­ways been clear about my ca­reer path, but this plat­form has def­i­nitely strength­ened my net­work base.”

Keyi – who is 1.85m in height – is one of 130 Miss World con­tes­tants and the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port from her mother, who has ac­com­pa­nied her to Sanya, has given her the much-needed con­fi­dence to thrive in all the chal­lenges build­ing up to the fi­nal.

Keyi se­cured her Miss World Top 30 spot af­ter she won the view­ers’ hearts dur­ing the head-to-head chal­lenge where she faced Venezuela, Sierra Leone, Fin­land, Wales and Latvia. She spoke about the lessons on the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion shared by for­mer pres­i­dent and el­der states­man Nel­son Man­dela.

“It is through ed­u­ca­tion that the daugh­ter of a peas­ant can be­come a doc­tor or the pres­i­dent of a great na­tion.

“What Nel­son Man­dela did for our coun­try made the idea of fol­low­ing one’s dream a re­al­ity,” she said.

Talk­ing about what drives her to want to ex­cel in ev­ery­thing she does, Keyi said her par­ents had taught her to never limit her­self be­cause of her cir­cum­stances.

Since her fa­ther died when she was 17, she has re­lied on her mother as a pil­lar of strength.

In the same year she made the de­ci­sion to over­come her grief , she ma­tric­u­lated with dis­tinc­tions and was of­fered nu­mer­ous schol­ar­ships to study Fur­ther.

“I had a very sim­ple up­bring­ing and have al­ways been aca­dem­i­cally strong. I pushed my­self through very dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. I grad­u­ated from UCT with a BCom ac­count­ing and PGDA [post­grad­u­ate diploma in ac­count­ing] [and] I’m cur­rently com­plet­ing my ar­ti­cles with one of the top four au­dit firms in the coun­try.

“While study­ing at UCT, I was a pro­fes­sional part-time model but I stopped in 2016 when I started my ar­ti­cles.

“When I de­cided to en­ter Miss SA, I had sought to en­cour­age the eco­nomic par­tic­i­pa­tion of women and youth and use ed­u­ca­tion to in­spire them to chase their dreams and pri­ori­tise ex­cel­lence.

“I knew that Miss SA would give me a plat­form to have a voice, al­low me to share my story and in­spire South Africans.

“Miss World [on the other hand] would al­low me to do the same on a global scale,” said Keyi.

Speak­ing of what she be­lieved the true, fun­da­men­tal na­ture of a Miss World is, she said: “The essence lies in beauty with a pur­pose. Hav­ing the pas­sion to serve and make a mean- in­g­ful dif­fer­ence in the lives of peo­ple all around the world. To do this, one needs to be kind and com­pas­sion­ate.”

Keyi con­tin­ued to talk about the beauty of her coun­try.

She said dur­ing her month­long stay in Sanya she had learnt a lot from the other con­tes­tants.

“Shar­ing the jour­ney with beau­ti­ful and pas­sion­ate women from all around the world has taught me that we may have dif­fer­ent cul­tures, speak dif­fer­ent lan­guages and come from dif­fer­ent parts of the world, but in essence we are all hu­man be­ings with a pur­pose and pas­sion to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in other peo­ple’s lives.

“I’ve also learnt that when you stay true to who you are and au­then­ti­cally rep­re­sent your­self and your coun­try, the world will love and ac­cept you for who you are.”

The pageant will be broad­cast live on SABC3 (DStv chan­nel 193) from 1pm to 3pm on Satur­day.

Keyi will com­pete with 29 other coun­tries in the race to be crowned the 68th Miss World.

In essence we are all hu­man be­ings with a pur­pose to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in other peo­ple’s lives Thulisa Keyi

BEAUTY WITH A PUR­POSE: Thulisa Keyi, from the East­ern Cape is a fi­nal­ist and will com­pete in the Sanya City Arena, China, hop­ing to be crowned the 68th Miss World 2018

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