Yanelisa Bokveld from Queenstown has been chosen to represent the Eastern Cape as a finalist in this year’s Zee World Miss Teen Commonwealth South Africa pageant.
Zee World Miss Teen Commonwealth South Africa is a leadership programme teaching teenagers about public speaking, leadership and modelling.
It is hoped that pageant finalists take what they learn from their experience back to their communities to impact positively on the youth there.
Bokveld, who says she heard about the pageant from last year’s finalist Zenande Funani, said she entered the competition because of the values the competition represented.
The teen said she wanted to encourage girls to reach for their goals and not be limited by their circumstances. “What I really like about the pageant is that it doesn’t really focus on one’s looks but rather on [empowering] young women. The pageant challenges young girls to play leadership roles in community upliftment projects and charity work.
“I have always wanted to be an inspiration to the young girls in my village, I want girls to know that your background or where you come from does not necessarily determine your future or how far you can go,” said Bokveld, who is a first-year student in hospitality management at the Tshwane University of Technology.
At a workshop held in Port Elizabeth in January, Bokveld said finalists were told they would have to select a charity for which they would have to raise funds.
Bokveld said she initially wanted to choose a charity in her home town but her study commitments would prevent this.
“Because I am now in Pretoria for school, I am going to pick one closer so it will be easier to work with,” she explained.
Bokveld said she was excited to be one of the finalists this year, and she was enjoying the journey.
The national pageant will be held on April 29 in Pretoria.