From just a teen to beauty queen

By admin
06 November 2013

Cindy Makita blogs about how her life has changed since she won the YOU Miss Teen title, why it is not an ordinary pageant and the life lessons she has learnt.

Cindy with one of her prizes

Okay, I introduced myself in my first blog now it’s time to tell you about winning the YOU Miss Teen competition and how it has changed my life. Firstly, it was not an ordinary pageant. The editors of YOU were looking for a vibrant young lady between the ages of 14 and 18 to be the teen face of the magazine. They wanted a girl who had a passion for community service and someone who was proud to be South African. One of my friends encouraged me to enter.

My big win

When you enter such a big competition, although you hope and pray that your dreams will come true and you will be chosen, there’s always that little bit of doubt. Getting through the various stages of the competition gave me hope. Each time I was one step closer to my goal. After making it to the top 10 I was optimistic that whatever happened was God’s plan. Whether I won or lost I had made it that far and ought to be proud of myself. And since getting the call to say I had won the YOU Miss Teen competition, my life has changed . . .

Cindy with YOU Miss Teen finalists Refilwe Mothei and Mosidi Mothei and Miss SA 2011 Melinda Bam.

From the amazing prizes I won to the countless photoshoots I have attended and appearances I have made, my dream has finally come true. It took a while for me to come to terms with the fact that I, Cindy Makita, had won that prestigious title and that the editors had thought I was good enough to represent the magazine as the YOU Miss Teen. My first appearance was at the 2012 YOU Spectacular, where I got to rub shoulders with some of South Africa’s top celebs. It felt amazing to be a part of such a community of entertainers, media, actors and musicians.

School remains No 1

I won the title last year when I was in Grade 11. Since I participated in a lot of sports and extramural activities at school, not to mention the load of schoolwork that had to be done, my YOU Miss Teen responsibilities had to be squeezed into my daily routine. I had to rethink my priorities (my main focus being school, of course), and restructure my day to incorporate the duties that came with the title. The YOU editors were very considerate of the fact that I was still at school, so every appearance or community service event I had to attend came second to my schoolwork.

Cindy Makita, YOU Miss Teen

Helping others and learning life lessons

The amazing thing about my title was the fact that YOU gave me a platform to help others. I knew this was my opportunity to make a difference and I made up my mind not to waste it. My aim was to inspire the youth of South Africa to always strive for greatness and to give their all to achieve their dreams despite their past or current circumstances.

YOU has helped me by organising various radio interviews, charity initiatives and appearances, to reach out to the youth and to send my message out to them. I had been actively involved in community service before my reign, but with all the community service I did as YOU Miss Teen I discovered I was passionate about empowering young women and I started my own charity initiative.

My journey as YOU Miss Teen has helped me learn many life lessons, of which the most important remains: Humility is key. Throughout my journey I have tried to stay as humble and grounded as possible. With all the radio interviews, TV appearances, magazine articles, I always worked to keep my eye on my goal which was to inspire the youth and make a difference in my community.

God has put me in this position for a reason, I am here to do His work and I have found that my humility has paid off in so many ways. And this has made me the best YOU Miss Teen I could ever be.

And to quote CS Lewis in Mere Christianity, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

More about the charity initiative that I started in my next blog.


Bubbly teenager Cindy Makita is the current YOU Miss Teen and will be blogging for us twice a month between her charity work and Matric exams.

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