Miss South Africa Top 12: Meet Sharon-Rose Khumalo

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We caught up with Miss SA Top 12 finalist Sharon-Rose Khumalo, ahead of one of South Africa’s biggest nights. By Zamahlasela Gabela Growing up I watched Miss South Africa and in my mind I saw myself on that stage. And then later growing up and deciding what I wanted to do with my life, it wasn’t me. But then it crossed my mind again and here I am. I entered the pageant last year and in retrospect, I’m so much happier this time. It was part of God’s plan, the level of readiness and the message I want to send out right now. It’s something that I feel like I really want. Last year I didn’t even make it to the semi finalists round. This period is such a special time in the competition where we get to know everyone. We’re realising that there’s more to us then face value, we’ve made serious bonds and good friendships. The most important thing is woman empowerment and we’re all helping each other align with our purposes and visions. It’s brought me so much closer to my calling and it’s a real growth experience. I think my calling, based on my history of having gone to varsity and failing my first year and having to go back, is education. Team Matric is a project I’ve been part of and we tutor Matrics in Mathematics, Maths Literacy, Physical Science, Accounting and English. Those are the subjects that the founders of the programme have identified. It’s revived what I’ve wanted to do besides just getting a normal 9 to 5 job, a house and all the other things, but to give back to my community of Mamelodi and really make a difference. Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 7.46.03 PM My intentions and goal for the pageant would be to find ways to support Team Matric and other organisations that need help. It’s not easy spearheading such programmes but support is really needed, from funding to mentorship. It’s definitely something I want to do. The highlight of my time on Miss SA so far is coming to realise that this experience is actually happening to me and the whole process of the opportunities that we’re presented with. I’ve learnt so much about myself and life in general. The one thing I keep saying is that I appreciate the way that Miss SA hasn’t just pushed us into the deep end. Just the other morning we had a consultation with a clinical psychologist, and a makeup artist. They are teaching us a lot of things and we also learn about each other. It’s a very interesting process and we feel so special. I think the most important thing is seeing the women that have gone before me being such women of influence. I look at the title of Miss SA as a position to serve. I have two favourite Miss South Africa’s. Peggy-Sue Khumalo’s story is so similar to mine I relate the most the most to her. And Rolene Strauss is my other favourite. Even with her success of being a Miss World she’s still so humble, I appreciate those qualities. She has the world at her feet but is still so humble. Apart from education being my main focus the other thing that I’ve grown to be passionate about is celebrating the way that you are. I’ve decided to do the pageant with my natural hair, the message I’m trying to send is that as much as women are entitled to choose, I want to convey is that you shouldn’t change your style because you think you’re not enough. As black girls we can do it, I’m proud of who I am. Celebrating my hair and myself the way I am. When one of the judges asked me the hair question earlier on, I initially gave him a lukewarm answer but I have firmed it up. I told the judges that I want to keep my own hair, everyone is entitled to make their own decisions, personally for me this is what I want to do and everyone respects that. There are certain times where I actually have to check myself and realise I’m here in the top 12. We all have a story and I’m trying to use my story and inspire. Despite what happens, remain true to yourself and be who you are. I want to make a difference. The Miss South Africa pageant will be held on the 19 March 2016, to track Sharon-Rose’s progress follow her on; Twitter: @SL_Malo Instagram: @itssharonkhumalo Facebook: Sharon-Rose Khumalo

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