Charity the real winner in Mrs SA contest

2016-10-24 12:17
Mrs South Africa top 25 finalist Maritsa Gouws with her husband Brian designer of Gouw’s outfit, Khosi on Friday night at the Mrs South Africa grand finale. The Nkosi, tailor-made an outfit for each of the finalists, who have been given the garments to keep as a reminder of the journey.

Mrs South Africa top 25 finalist Maritsa Gouws with her husband Brian designer of Gouw’s outfit, Khosi on Friday night at the Mrs South Africa grand finale. The Nkosi, tailor-made an outfit for each of the finalists, who have been given the garments to keep as a reminder of the journey. (Supplied)

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A Pietermaritzburg beauty pageant finalist said although she was not crowned Mrs South Africa on Friday night, her community has made her feel like a winner.

Business owner and supporter of local charities Maritsa Gouws said the experience had been a “once in a lifetime” experience after making the top 25 of this year’s Mrs South Africa.

Gouws said the new Mrs South Africa, Hlengiwe Twala, first princess, Olwethu Leshabane (26) and second princess, Lilliana Lulli-Marucchi (33) “could not be more deserving” of their titles. “All of us went home winners,” said Gouws.

She said the top 25 called themselves “the sisterhood” and that the love between the women was real.

“It was a transformation for us all. It has opened doors for us, and connected us to our communities. I feel like a winner,” she said.

“I hope to continue to keep on inspiring women, so they may experience the transformation that we all did on this journey.

“I cannot wait to mentor women and empower them.”

At the beginning of her journey, Gouws said the only award she had aimed for was the Mrs South Africa charity cup.

She said although she did not win, she knew in her heart the money raised for Cansa (the Cancer Association of South Africa) as part of her journey in Mrs South Africa “was raised in Pietermaritzburg, by Pietermaritzburg”.

Gouws said this year, the women had raised almost R100 000 more for Cansa than last year, and in total, raised R1,1 million.

She said the highlight, however, was seeing her husband in the crowd at the finals, “and how proud he was of me”. “That moment was the crown for me,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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