Becoming a wife and mother has not stopped Yonela Jindela from becoming an influential beauty queen.
Jindela is the only Eastern Cape female in the top 16 of the Mrs Africa pageant and is in the top five most voted finalists in the competition.
The Mrs Africa pageant was launched in 2006 by Carolyn Baldwin-Botha from Pageants SA, and Janet Potgieter.
The aim of the pageant is to create a platform in which the unique qualities of African women can be showcased to the world.
The participating countries include Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya, Swaziland and Mauritius. South Africa will host the grand finale on November 4 in Johannesburg.
All finalists are required to raise funds for Dignity Dream, a non-profit organisation that distributes washable feminine sanitary wear to underprivileged girls and women.
Since making it to the top 16, Jindela has been working hard raising funds for various charities.
“We did a pads drive for two schools in Port St Johns. I also visited schools around East London and prepared meals for them,” she said.
Growing up, the Mthatha-born Jindela said she had always loved entering beauty pageants.
“I started off in Miss Sunday School and I enjoyed being on stage. Now with age, things are different and there are specific pageants for women like myself,” she said.
Last year, Jindela was one of three South African women who made it to the Mrs Africa pageant.
“What I like about such pageants is that they focus on charity work and that is where my heart is.
“I love helping other people and inspiring young people in the process,” she said.
The 28-year-old mother of two said she would not have been able to participate in the Mrs Africa pageant without the support of her husband, Siyabulela.
“I am truly blessed to have such a husband. He encourages me and takes over some of my duties when I have to travel. I wouldn’t be able to do this without his support, and my mother-in-law,” she said.
A special send-off event has been organised for Jindela on October 22.
She said she was honoured to have been a part of Mrs Africa.
“I got to do a lot in the community and I plan to continue doing more because charity is close to my heart.”
To vote for Jindela, SMS Mrs12 to 47018. SMS cost R2. — poliswap@