Putting her modelling dream aside was one of the biggest mistakes that Warrenton-based Mary Moeti (38) ever made.The mother of three is however now ready to compete with the top women in the country for the crown of Mrs Commonwealth South Africa 2018.Moeti, who is the only Northern Cape finalist in the competition, started pursuing her modelling career again in 2016. “I grabbed my second chance with both hands and even went as far as joining a modelling agency,” she said.The now independent mother, who is employed at the Northern Cape Department of Health, dreams of becoming an important roleplayer in uplifting women in her community.She is working on running programmes where she can groom young girls into womanwood and uplift women in their homes.The Mrs Commonwealth pageant’s goal is to bring sustainable change through various projects which focus primarily on social upliftment, food relief and orphaned children.Past winners of the Mrs Commonwealth pageant have also competed in Mrs Universal and Mrs Classic Universe.The 2018 winner will compete internationally in 2019.Referring back to her youth, Moeti encourages all women to never stop pursuing their dreams.“I was a model in my school years and used to win local pageants, but I never really pursued bigger beauty contests due to my parents’ insecurities when it came to safety,” she said.Now she – a mother and a married woman – wants to face similar challenges that she faced as a child by winning this pageant and making a difference in her community.“I am going to run programmes and sessions where women can meet, engage and motivate each other about their positions.“Women must be open and outspoken about the challenges they face in their marriages. Their husbands should be treating them with respect and as equals.”She elaborated on the marital stress that women, especially unemployed women, tend to go through as compared to men.“This tends to make us feel small and we become afraid to complain, maybe because we think it might lead to our children losing respect for us.“Women must learn that everything starts small and every cent takes you far in life.”She is giving this opportunity her best shot and will appreciate any form of sponsorship to realise her dream. Moetie, who has her family’s backing, dreams of empowering women in her community if she wins the pageant. Voting lines are open to residents of the Northern Cape until Friday, 12 October. To vote for her, SMS the words “marymoeti” to 35554. For more information, call her on 073-981-8182.