Artscape Theatre is set to host the first ever Miss Wheelchair South Africa in partnership with Universal Accessibility Hub at the Artscape Opera House on 02 December.
The glamourous event is aimed at enabling an awareness to the theme, ‘Beauty without Barriers’ and to start the journey for the newly crowned Miss Wheelchair SA to represent South Africa at Miss Wheelchair World in Mexico in October 2022.
The ten finalists, selected from many entries across the country through the recently held auditions will converge to spend four action-packed days from 29 November – 03 December in Cape Town where they will take part in workshops (ranging from choreography to personal entrepreneurial development) and guided tours of the mother city. The criteria used for shortlisting was based on personality, confidence, introduction and answer content.
Among the finalists is Nokuzola Kakaza, a 26-year-old IT graduate from the North West Province living with a disability called scoliosis.
“I am one of Miss SA Wheelchair finalists as a sacrifice for me and others and here as a voice to the voiceless in media platforms”, says Nokuzola who is also one of the nominees for top 100 Ekurhuleni youth influencers. What this experience has taught me is that living with a disability is a challenge that can be overcome but it needs to start with you and through self-love and acceptance, making it a ritual”, alluded Nokuzola.
Another Miss SA Wheelchair hopeful, Catiana Signor (27), a Johannesburg based fashion designer with her own online clothing label entered the competition because she wanted to inspire those around her.
“I have worked hard all my life to use my disability as an ability to reach my goals and achieve greater heights than I thought possible and I believe becoming Miss Wheelchair SA will enable my voice to become even louder and provide me with a platform to share my story and support other people with any forms of disability”, said Catiana.
Ms Lebohang Monyatsi, the founding member of Miss Wheelchair South Africa and crowned 1st Princess at Miss Wheelchair World and Karen Smit co-founder of Women’s Achievement Network for Disability (WAND) will be among the judges.
“I am proud to be an Ambassador for Universal Accessibility Hub who has been instrumental in organising and making Miss Wheelchair South Africa’s dream realised”, says Lebohang Monyatsi. “Creating an awareness of the disparities and advocating for persons with disabilities is done through events such as Miss Wheelchair SA and we aim to change perceptions and start new conversations that beauty has no limitations”, alluded Lebohang.
Echo’s’ Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux: “The building that houses Artscape is celebrating its 50th year. It opened as the Nico Malan on 19 May 1971 for whites only. As democracy dawned and the name changed to Artscape circa 1999 a transformation journey commenced to demystify the building as a home for all This event thus succinctly ties into our ethos of promoting full inclusivity including persons with disabilities.Thus with the hosting of this event we aim to change the image of women with disabilities, break barriers and show that being in a wheelchair is not a limitation”.
The crowning of the first Miss Wheelchair South Africa is crafted with the aim to change the perception, narrative, and image of disabled women in South Africa. With the principles of leaving no one behind, which is in line with the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and under the auspices of the Presidential Working Group on Disability, established in February 2019 as part of the government’s commitment to join the disability sector of South Africa to empower persons with disabilities.
2021 Miss Wheelchair SA finalists
- Pearl Nkosi, 26, Mpumalanga
- Bongiwe Sithomo, 25, Kwa-Zulu Natal
- Palesa Mahloko, 27, Gauteng
- Nokuzola Kakaza, 26, North West
- Tamelyn Bock, 25, Northern Cape
- Mbalenhle Nkhumeleni, 36, Limpopo
- Nadia Leila Carelse, 29, Kwa-Zulu Natala
- Nokuthula Yonke, 20, Western Cape
- Catiana Signor, 27, Gauteng
- Maureen Mukale, 24, North West
All activities comply with all COVID-19 regulations including social distancing and patrons must wear masks for entry.
Tickets (R100 each) are available and can be booked at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-seat 021 421 7695, with the proceeds being directed towards funding the Miss Wheelchair SA’s attendance at the global event.
For media enquiries, contact Themba Mzondi 078 113 5216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by: Artscape Marketing Department
Senior Manager: Communications and Brand Management
Contact: 073 207 1558