Miss Earth SA: Eston beauty second runner-up

2011-10-03 00:00

LOCAL environmental activist Kirsten Dukes of Eston claimed the second runner-up title, Miss Water South Africa, in the Miss Earth South Africa pageant recently.

Dukes said, “I’ve always been pro-environment. Living on a farm, I have become very aware of the disastrous effects on the earth and I have always wanted to make a difference.”

Miss Earth South Africa, in association with Consol, is more than just a pageant, said the national director of Miss Earth South Africa, Catherine Constantinides.

“It is an initiative and leadership programme for South African women between the ages of 18 and 26 years.

“It’s a platform that is used to empower these young women with the necessary knowledge and opportunities to become environmental eco-warriors, encouraging them to go out and make a sustainable environmental impact on their communities and the public at large,” said Constantinides.

Studying to become an education psychologist specialising in special needs and children with disabilities, 18-year-old Dukes said she believes it is important for people to adopt a “green” attitude. An issue close to her heart is the use of pesticides and the harmful effects they have on both the environment and human health.

During the final rounds of Miss Earth South Africa Dukes also received the Beauty with a Cause special award and shared the Green Project 2011 award with the KwaZulu-Natal finalists Mbali Makhathini, Sarika Naidoo and Tashe Moodley. The project involved the planting of 46 trees in the Tehuis Park in Umlazi in one day.

In her spare time Dukes is a committed dancer who loves to express herself through movement. She also loves to be in touch with nature, observing and finding unique plants and creatures and interacting with the animals that live on her farm.

The Miss Earth South Africa initiative has been running for 10 years and works with over 120 schools nationwide.

“Much of the work is focused on greening of townships, food gardens, sustainable development and educational programmes around the country,” said Constantinides.

For more information or to enter the 2012 pageant, visit www.missearthsa.co.za.

tharuna.devchand@witness.co.za

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