Miss SA finalist, Noxolo Ndebele starts her own beauty pageant (with a twist) and fashion line

Noxolo "Nobuhle" Ndebele
Noxolo "Nobuhle" Ndebele

Twenty five-year-old Noxolo Ndebele or "Nobuhle", which means "beautiful", as she loves to call herself, sees the world as her oyster.

Hailing from KwaNongoma in KZN and a Miss KZN first princess, the young beauty went further than she dreamed she would after she made the decision to compete in the Miss SA pageant, making it as far as a finalist in the top five.

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Currently the head of her very own beauty pageant which is called #Ubuhlebako - own your beauty, she also has plans to start a fashion line. All while working as an accountant in Johannesburg, Noxolo has a lot to offer, and she has her eyes on the prize.

Here is her story.

"I was born and raised in Nongoma a small town in Zululand, which did not have many modeling platforms for young women with dreams of successful careers in the industry. Earlier this year I entered the Miss KZN pageant and actually won first princess.

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This gave me the confidence to apply for Miss SA because I had a lot more faith in myself. It also led me to believe that there is hope for young black women like me, who are from small villages. Going so far in the competition made me want to share the hope that I had with these women.

That is when I had the idea to create my very own pageant. One that would incorporate model grooming, African pride and a touch of Zulu style. The perfect platform for a young black woman to grow and establish herself as a model, something that will afford them the same confidence to reach for higher levels and goals, like I did.

The pageant will start out with 15 girls who will all compete to go to the semi finals, which will consist of 10 girls. Most of the girls are from small townships around Zululand like Nongoma, Vryheid, Ulundi and Phongolo. Most of them also have little to no modelling experience.

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What I am also hoping to achieve by doing this pageant, is to encourage young women to get more involved in different initiatives around their communities. I want them to get up and make these opportunities a reality instead of waiting for them to come to their way.

The prizes for the competition include spa days, makeup hampers, accommodation in a lovely guest house and also brand new weaves styled by a professional salon.

Many young women, especially from small towns and villages may feel intimidated by platforms such as Miss SA because they were never exposed to it. I'd like this to change. I want to see them chasing opportunities and building courage to go out there and make the most of life.

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Sadly, many young women are also unemployed in these small areas. I hope that my pageant and my clothing line can do its bit to change this situation, even if it's only a small one. This is why I have decide that the winner of my pageant will also become the face of my fashion line that is set to be released next year.

I am also hoping to use my company, which is called Nobuhle RLC, to create as many job spaces for young women in pageantry, modelling and fashion.

The pageant is currently being sponsored by my very supportive parents, and there are also a lot of local influencers, media personalities (such as Nqubeko Mbatha from Nongoma FM and Mam Nomusa Dhlomo, who is one of my favourite style icons) and artists (Khuzani, Menzi the Poet, Zanele 'Mzeeto' and more) who have come forward to take part in this initiative.

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I am also expecting about 200 guests who will coming to support the pageant."

On her way to becoming a chartered accountant (she already has a B Com under her belt), much success is headed Noxolo's way.

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