- A young woman has taken it upon herself to be the voice for SA girls lacking in confidence
- Nozipho Mashaba, a 25-year-old model and UJ graduate, hopes to inspire young women to follow their dreams
- Mashaba is currently a semi-finalist in the 2019 Empress South Africa pageant
Nozipho Mashaba is battling it out as a semi-finalist in the 2019 Empress South Africa pageant, however, for her it is more than just a title.
Mashaba hopes to win the pageant and gain the influence to help young South African women with their confidence.
Speaking to Briefly.co.za, the beautiful UJ graduate opened up about her life, struggles and dreams.
Mashaba has been interested in beauty pageants from a young age. However, things got harder when she started gaining weight as she grew older.
"l started getting bullied and was rejected when l go for castings," she explained.
Mashaba had two options - she could either give up on her dreams or she could stand her ground and pursue her passions - luckily she opted for the latter.
"I decided from that time that I am going to stand my ground because l am dearly and wonderfully made."
Knowing what it is like to be compared to completely unrealistic body images, Mashaba decided to start a company, The Unlimited Youth Development, that helps young women build their confidence by training them to compete in pageants and become active leaders in their communities.
"I started mentoring young girls to grow their self esteem, do beauty pageants, public speaking, debate and stand their own ground. I continued as a model but ramp and picture model because my focus had now moved into grooming these babies of mine," she said.
It was not until one of her students, who tragically passed away afterwards, asked her why she did not compete in pageants anymore.
To honour the young girl's memory, Mashaba decided to sign up for the Empress South Africa 2019 pageant - where she was chosen as a semi-finalist.
"The amazing thing about this contest is you do not need to be slim, tall, thick ect, you need to be you and that's my strongest point," she said.
Mashaba said she aspires to empower the youth from her community by showing that your background does not define the limits of your dreams.
The title of Miss Empress South Africa 2019 will enable Mashaba to empower more young people than she is able to do now.
"I will use my voice to influence the youth," she said.
The Empress South Africa 2019 pageant will take place on 16 December at the Suncoast Casino in Durban.
Mashaba has called on Mzansi to help her achieve her dreams by voting for her in the Empress South Africa 2019 competition.
SMS Nozipho Mashaba to 35334
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