Miss SA: my new dad saved us

By admin
15 June 2012

ABOVE: After years of turmoil Melinda, mom Wanda and Melissa are happy at last with Neil.

She’s a blonde beauty with a winner’s smile who always has a kind word for everyone. Yet Melinda Bam (23) has had her fair share of heartache. She was only 11 when her dad, Reverend Deon de Kock, committed suicide by gassing himself.

Today for the first time she speaks frankly about the pain this tragedy caused but also the huge joy when her mom remarried and Neil Bam became more than a stepdad to her and her older sister, Melissa (25).

“Neil isn’t my stepdad,” she says firmly. “He’s really my dad. Just like he adopted me unconditionally as his daughter I adopted him as a dad.”

Melinda changed her surname to Bam after Neil legally adopted her. “I don’t want to go through life continually explaining what happened because I don’t like soppy stories,” she says.

“It was however a huge adjustment to go to school as De Kock one day and Bam the next,” she says with a grin.

Read more of Joshua Carstens’ interview with Melinda and her family in YOU 21 June 2012.

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