Pageant shows the big picture

2018-04-11 06:02
Onalenna Marumo, Miss Kimberley Plus Size 2018.

Onalenna Marumo, Miss Kimberley Plus Size 2018.

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Onalenna Marumo was crowned Miss Kimberley Plus Size 2018 during a pageant event held at the Flamingo Casino on 31 March.

“Being big does not mean sitting down and fattening yourself more. You have to do something like going to the gym, even if it is just to keep healthy, because it gets very tough to lose that weight,” Marumo said.

Nomakhwenzi Maieane was crowned first princess, while Elison Miller was crowned second princess.

Marumo identified peer pressure as a challenge that needed to be addressed among the youth.

According to her, it leads to youngsters’ inability to focus on their schooling, dreams and potential. They instead focus on aspects that hinder their success.

“Intense mentoring and funding in their relevant field of study will be the solution,” she said.

Marumo, for the past six years a member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), said winning this pageant was a great achievement – she had never seen herself winning a pageant, due to her size.

According to her, society tends to judge big women, resulting in them not believing in themselves.

“I am really proud to represent this brand as Miss Kimberley Plus Size 2018,” she said after her crowning.

Marumo was among the ten women who proudly strutted their stuff in swimwear and elegant nightgowns in a room filled with a cheering audience.

The second annual Miss Kimberley Plus Size Pageant crowning event was hosted by the owner of JNY Creations, local Nkosinathi Yaso.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to feel comfortable in their body.

According to Yaso, who is also the organiser of the Mr and Miss Kimberley pageant, the platform for women with clothing size 36 upwards had been requested by members of the community.

“I believe that we cannot all be thin. Some may be bigger bodied and should not be discredited for being big boned or full figured,” Yaso said.

“You need to be comfortable in your own skin in order for other people to accept you as you are. That way you will not be hurt by what the next person says about you.”

Marumo expressed her deepest gratitude towards Yaso for the opportunity of giving big women their confidence back.

She said she hoped that the pageant would grow in potential and continue to empower women.

“We never knew that opportunities like these even existed in Kimberley. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands, starting from the first day of the auditions.

“When I started, I told myself that I was going to run with this until the last, which I did.”

Marumo never thought she would win the pageant, and was very surprised when she did.

She said she entered the pageant to try something new, to enjoy herself and feel good about what she was doing, rather than to compete.

She described being a finalist in the pageant as no child’s play. She faced several challenges along the way, which she turned into opportunities thanks to lessons learnt.

She decided to multi-task and do her bit for her society by organising charity events and raising funds.

“It was challenging for me to attend rehearsals, do charity work and stick to my job schedule.

“But I never gave up and rather kept knocking on doors, looking for sponsors. The doors were mostly shut in my face,” she described her journey.

“I learned to be persistent and to knock on the next door to keep my promise of delivering to society.”

Her projects included the donation of sanitary towels to the !Xhunkhwesa Intermediate School in Platfontein and also delivering services to a Phomolong family.

She vowed to continue with the charity work after realising that a lot still needed to be done in her community.

“I am aware that I have to return there and finish what I have started.”

Yaso said the pageant had grown in potential and in numbers from 15 to 28 entries over the two years.

“We are driven by the fact that many women are motivated by it.”

He said this year they had spent more time on building the participants’ confidence and to prepare them for the pa­geant.

He thanked the Kimberley community for their support in making a success of the event.

You need to be
comfortable in your own skin in order for
other people to
accept you as you are. – Onalenna Marumo


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