Giving back to society

2019-06-25 06:00
Clifton Herries (with sash) says the programme will run go for six months.

Clifton Herries (with sash) says the programme will run go for six months.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

With her good gesture, Clifton “Chante” Herries from Parkwood wishes to leave a legacy that inspires many young individuals to never lose hope in themselves or whatever they dream to become or aspire to.

Herries, affectionately known as Chante, is one of the five local finalists out of the 12 that will be competing in the Miss Drag SA Pty Ltd pageant in Pretoria later this year.

After successfully overcoming battles of dealing with societal stereotypes as she embraces her sexuality, she realised the need to help others live life to the fullest. The 35-year-old Herries started a skill development programme at her salon in April this year.

“As a non-conforming gender individual, I have had to build a more confident and enduring self-image because of how society has portrayed and understood the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTIQA) community,” she says.

Herries says though it was hard being regarded as what society sees as abnormal, she had the drive to become a leader in her community. She says seeing the hopeless sense of worth drove her to “become a testament of inspiration, hope and success.”

Herries teaches people between the ages of 16 and 32 living at The Foundation for Positive Change, a local safe house offering basic hair care and beauty skills.

She hopes the knowledge shared with the beneficiaries of the programme for the duration of six months would inspire them to become better people and be confident in seeking employment upon the completion of their programme, which they could use once their rehabilitation is completed, and they seek employment.

“I wish to marry my skill of hairstyling with community outreach to instil dedication and positive outlook within the women who are a part of this programme.

“Thus far, the class that was held has had positive response from the participants, and their enthusiasm is uplifting and rewarding,” Herries says.

She says being a self-employed entrepreneur has led to many opportunities for her career and life in general, because she was not affected by the social challenges in her community.

To make a success of herself, Herries says she would appreciate help from established hair salons with used equipment such as hair dryers, hair dye, combs, shampoo and any form of donation. She also thank everyone that has helped her thus far.

Cara Lee Andriaanse (33) is one of the beneficiaries and says it is helping her realise her dream after many years of giving it up. She is one of the 10 girls living at the safe house that are part of the programme. She grew up wanting to be a hairstylist “but because of the choices I made along the way I ended up being a drug addict and wasted 17 years of my life. I came to the safe house five weeks ago because I realised I had no purpose in life and had lost my family and friends.”

She says Herries is not just giving them a skill but also teaching them the importance of giving back as they get to practice at different local NGOs that work with vulnerable people. “We do not appreciate what we have until we realise someone else actually needs it. It is so fulfilling to offer my service to an elder at the old age home or making a blind person feel beautiful. I did not know the value of giving back until I joined Chante’s programme,” says Andriaanse.

V To help Clifton Herries call 071 672 8483.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.