More than just beauty

2016-09-14 06:00
WINNERS of the beauty pageant are from the left Engracia Francisco (first princess), Keamohetsoe Monethi (winner) and Nkagisang Maretela (second princess).

WINNERS of the beauty pageant are from the left Engracia Francisco (first princess), Keamohetsoe Monethi (winner) and Nkagisang Maretela (second princess).

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KEAMOHETSOE MONETHI was crowned as the winner of the Miss Northern Cape Heritage pageant for Heritage Month. Engracia Francisco was the first princess and Nkagisang Maretela walked away with the second princess title.

Express Northern Cape spoke to Monethi (Miss Heritage Northern Cape 2016).

How did you feel after winning the pageant?

It was quite amazing and an overwhelming feeling. I was, and still am, ecstatic and excited about this achievement. The journey itself and the eventual crowning have taught me to never limit myself. It is still sinking in, but I am slowly getting used to it.

What are your aspirations when it comes to the pageant industry?

Pageants are a great way of discovering oneself and exploring new ventures.

I wish to influence or encourage others to enter pageants and create much bigger and better platforms for pageantry in the Northern Cape since we are always the last to gain recognition in the country.

What was the exciting element that you discovered after winning this title?

It is not what I discovered after being crowned, but what I already knew. The exciting part about it is the fact that I get to do what I have always wanted to do only with better resources which enable one to out to greater masses.

What does heritage mean to you?

Heritage means discovering oneself through traditional and cultural identities, commemorating our past achievements and adversities as well as to encourage us to turn things around to create a conducive, socially coherent environment for future generation.

Do you think that heritage and culture will ever become irrelevant?

Heritage and culture will always be there to remind us of where we come from, heritage especially.

Culture on the other hand is inevitable and will never become irrelevant.

Although society is evolving, changing and shifting more to the modern or western side of living, culture will still be relevant – but our morals, belief systems and values that we learnt from our ethnic and social background will definitely lose relevance. I believe that the Miss Heritage pageant was created for this purpose: To raise awareness and not to lose the value of our heritage and culture.

What is your heritage?

My heritage is a composition of my nationality, race, ethnic, religious, cultural and traditional background further narrowed down to my identity, morals, beliefs and values. If I have to unravel it, I will have to write a book about it.

Are you studying?

I am a Social Sciences graduate.

Express Norhtern Cape also caught up with the newly crowned first princess of the Northern Cape Miss Heritage Pageant, 23-year-old Engracia Francisco.

How do you feel after winning the title of first princess?

I feel honored, I did not expect to get this far. I have competed in pageants before and I realised that beauty pageants are broader than just our physical attributes. They also magnify your inner beauty and they provide a platform to give back to the community.

What are your aspirations in when it comes to the pageant industry?

The next step for me would be entering Miss South Africa. I still feel I need to grow mentally and spiritually and this title is grooming me.

What was the exciting element that you discovered after winning this title?

The first princess and the winner move onto the national pageant at the national Miss Heritage pageant that will be held next month.

What does heritage mean to you?

It means embracing our cultures and traditions as part of who we are today.

Do you think that heritage and culture will ever become irrelevant?

It can never be irrelevant as it defines our make-up.

What is your heritage?

My dad is Portuguese, and my mother is Vango from Namibia but I grew up in a predominantly Afrikaans speaking background. I am basically an ‘African cocktail’ and I think that is exciting.

There are so many layers to me and I love it.

What are you currently studying or have completed studying?

I have an LLB degree of the University of the Free State, but I still have plans to study further at a later stage. I am also currently working on an internship.

  • The national Miss Heritage pageant will be held on 24 September in Johannesburg.

“I was, and still am, ecstatic and excited about this
achievement. The journey itself and the crowning have taught me to never limit
myself.”

“I realised that
beauty pageants
are broader than just our physical
attributes.”

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