One-on-one with local beauty with high hopes

2018-07-19 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedAshleen Naidoo.

PHOTO: suppliedAshleen Naidoo.

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NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD Seatides lass Ashleen Naidoo aims to win the Miss Ballito 2018 title.

Coastal Weekly journalist Andile Sithole had a chance to interview her this week.

Andile Sithole (AS): Where did you grow up?

Ashleen Naidoo (AN): I grew up in Seatides, Tongaat.

AS: How would you describe yourself in three words?

AN: I would describe myself as strong, driven and fearless. My greatest inspiration comes from using what I’ve been through to do better in society. Experience gives us our strongest motivation.

AS: Where did you complete your matric?

AN: I matriculated from Seatides Combined last year.

AS: Tell me about your childhood memories; were you always passionate about modelling?

AN: I was not always passionate about modelling, but I was passionate about making my mark on the world. So I began my journey as a model.

AS: How long did it take you to get into the modelling industry? What were some of your challenges?

AN: This is my second entry in a row into the Miss Ballito pageant due to the mere fact that should I win or not, I want to help others — people who have been through similar situations as me. I have grown the courage to finally say, I am more than just a face in a pageant. I was a victim of depression and self-harm and I am now a suicide survivor. I have overcome all that with the grace of God and my own will to get up and help another face it all and rise above it, because I believe with the correct approach you can overcome a lot.

AS: You are one of the finalists in Miss Ballito, walk me through your journey to success, what do you want to achieve in this competition?

AN: Pageantry for me is more than just a title and a crown. To me it’s an opportunity, a stepping stone to build something to make a difference. I want to use pageantry to show my support, to create platforms for bigger issues that are sometimes overlooked. Issues like gay rights, poverty, depression, suicide and many more. I want to encourage women empowerment and leave my mark. We are all capable of extravagant possibilities and we just need our voices to be heard.

AS: What is your message to the youth?

AN: Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, don’t lose hope and always remember you are not alone.

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