Beauty queen out to empower youth

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Maqoqa drives ‘mentorship’ initiative

ON A MISSION: Beauty queen and philanthropist Sandi Maqoqa wants to help empower Eastern Cape youth

GLOBETROTTER and successful beauty queen Sandi Maqoqa, now residing in Gauteng, still has her heart glued to her home soil and is determined to see young people of the Eastern Cape become successful and responsible mentors in their societies.

The winner of Mrs Gauteng 2011, Mrs Mzantsi Africa 2012 (1st runner-up) and Mrs Globe South Africa finalist has set her sights on helping the underprivileged youth of the Eastern Cape. 

I have already started a Facebook page called Beauty of Eastern Cape

“Young people across South Africa are easily exposed to vulnerabilities such as drug and substance abuse, xenophobia, passive lifestyles, lack of access to information etc. I think it’s best that they have access to someone who they can relate and talk to,” Maqoqa said.

She currently hosts community develop- ment and uplifting programmes in Gauteng through SAPS and school management teams, in a bid to tackle problems of drugs and substance abuse, as well as career guidance and sports activities.

She said she would like to make a difference in the lives of youngsters by providing mentorship, career guidance and to share stories with them. She wants to create a platform for engagement and life-changing opportunities for young people.

“I have already started a Facebook page for them, called Beauty of Eastern Cape. It’s a fairly newly created group and, in order to get followers and to make it more interactive, it is for the young people of the province to invite more people and spread the news,” Maqoqa said.

“The purpose of the group is to share the common challenges that aspiring models and youth have to go through and how we can resolve them by sharing our experiences.

“I have offered workshops in Butterworth themed ‘Beauty with a purpose’. I have also received invites to attend and offer workshops at Walter Sisulu University in EL, but I haven’t yet received the exact dates and official agenda,” she added.

“My interests have also been expanded by the number of young people who approach me in East London showing interest in reaching their goals in different areas, career and modelling.

“ A couple of them [boys and girls] asked me if I could open a forum for them where they can easily access my services.”

The B Com honours in business admin, BCS computer science and diversity management diploma graduate is not just a pretty face, which is why education is her major concern in the Eastern Cape.

Maqoqa said: “My heart bleeds whenever I see the poor performance of education in Eastern Cape schools in the media and how [not] groomed our girls are when they leave for opportunities in big cities.”

To her, being a beauty queen has never been about a glittering crown, as she has always been passionate about the community and making a positive change. She said being crowned as Mrs Gauteng and Mrs Globe SA has always provided her the opportunity to penetrate certain platforms in many communities where no one knew who she was.

“Being an ambassador for Mrs Globe SA 2016 has expanded my networking spectrum.”

Away from the catwalk, the beauty queen dedicates her time to community and charity work at orphanages and old age homes.

“I do have already existing and active social platforms that help to promote community involvement and wellness life among the youth. We have been continuously collecting and distributing sanitary towels, reading materials and clothing to orphanage homes.

“I may not be physically available in the EC but it helps to provide them with a platform of contact when they need a benchmark to improve the province.”

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