The East London and Eastern Cape community will be represented at the inaugural Miss Eagle South Africa pageant by Phaphama Marabela, 21, in December.
She is one of eight Eastern Cape finalists.
The pageant encourages contestants to do charity work, media engagements and public speaking.
All of this is done through their online presence.
Marabela came across the competition on Facebook after being tagged by a family member.
“I was at the point of quitting modelling. But the competition caught my attention because the platform of being a national representative was a ‘wow’ factor and something good could come out of it,” she said.
Marabela, who started modelling in primary school, said it had given her the confidence to stand up for what she believed in.
“From a young age, I shied away from anything that needed me to stand in front of people or voice my opinion. I’ve learnt to put aside my fear and get on with it,” she said.
The third-year building student at Walter Sisulu University is very involved in a lot of charity work, while juggling her studies at the same time.
She is also in the process of writing a book about her experiences thus far in the modelling world.
“Our career as models isn’t taken seriously and, as a result, our dreams get shut down from an early age,” she said.
“I want to teach people that you can learn a lot from pageantry.”
Each province will be is represented by eight semifinalists who that will compete in the final at the Sandton Convention Centre on in Johannesburg on December 15.
One of Marabela’s causes that she would hope to push, should she win, is the challenge of the lack of not having enough resources in the rural areas.
“The government plays its role in supporting us through education but there are still people out there in rural areas who want to be successful but do not have enough resources,” she said.
“We must help each other in whichever way we possibly can to reach our destinations.”
When the GO! asked the aspirant participant about her future plans, she said she saw herself starting her own company, creating jobs, and increasing her knowledge in her study field.
The winner of the pageant can expect a cash prize, exposure to modelling opportunities, a chance to develop their brand, as well as national recognition.