Toti finalist after ‘GRAND’ title

2015-09-09 06:00
Amanzimtoti’s Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya is one of the top five finalists in the Mrs Grand SA competition.
Photo: supplied

Amanzimtoti’s Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya is one of the top five finalists in the Mrs Grand SA competition. Photo: supplied

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THE Miss Grand International pageant is seen as one of the five biggest pageants in the world. This year for the first time, South Africa is competing and Amanzimtoti beauty, Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya, is one of the top five finalists.

Dlamini-Ngcoya will compete for the title at Gold Reef City on Friday­, 11 September. The newly crowned Miss Grand SA will then compete with 84 contestants from around the globe in Thailand at Miss Grand International in October.

“What interested me in the pageant was that they are looking for an ambassador. I am passionate about my community and if I win it would give me a platform to be a motivational speaker to address community issues such as family, self-esteem and being married,” she said.

“Mrs Grand South Africa is open to married, divorced and widowed women between the ages of 23 and 55. I am 35, married for 10 years and have two boys, aged 13 and seven. The competition is hosted by the sister brand of Mrs Commonwealth. I went to enter that pageant and they told me about Mrs Grand.

“I am a wedding planner by profession and have been in the industry for 10 years, but recently I decided to change my career. While planning weddings, I realised I was more interested in helping families. I am now doing a degree in psychological counselling (clinical). I am a peer helper at the Unisa counselling department and a peer teacher for HIV and Aids.”

The beauty says her passion for people is something she learnt from her mother. “My mom, Lungile Dlamini, is the type of women who gives more than she has. She took in homeless people from different countries while I was growing up. She is a guardian angel, spiritual leader, mother, business women. She is also in road construction, and being a widow has not stopped her from giving. I am also lucky to have married a man who is pushing me. He is an auditor- accountant. When we were dating he was giving money to beggars, my friends saw and told me he is a ‘keeper’. So I am surrounded by greatness and feel I need to up my game somehow.

“I will be doing runway, but most of the scoring for Mrs Grand is related to interviews. It is more intellectual, as they are looking for someone to represent their brand. I would like to host more events for young married women. I want to change the dynamic of our parents’ idea of marriage and show that marriage is a lovely commitment, not what we grew up with. There is a still a stigma where marriage is seen as something scary. We don’t need to be reserved, you could be married, but still be who you are.”

She would like to address the concept that “black people experience the ‘romance thing’ as a white thing”. “I want to do more events in Toti. I was born in a semi-rural area of Eshowe and am proud to represent them. I have people from my childhood area already saying to me ‘you can do it’. You can grow up in a rural area and still be role model.”

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