Miss Wild Coast has work to do

WILDLY EXCITED: At the crowning are, from left, organiser Buhle Tonise, Miss Wild Coast 2019 Thembelihe Qhina and Eastern Cape Legislature deputy-speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyane Picture: SUPPLIED

Gonubie Manor was sparkling with glitz and glamour recently as 15 models competed for the crown of Miss Wild Coast. In the end, victory belonged to Libode-born Thembelihle
Qhina, 23. Pageant organiser Buhle Tonise said the aim of the pageant was to promote tourism along the Wild Coast, especially among the younger generation, while also empowering women.

“The Wild Coast is currently underrated, even by locals, and to achieve the purpose of the
programme, we had to create awareness among locals in order for them to share the same
vision and be prepared to welcome the world to the Wild Coast,” Tonise said. Qhina is a former Walter Sisuslu University student who holds a Bachelor’s of Education, and is currently a teacher at Faith Christian School in Mthatha.

“I entered Miss Wild Coast because I’m passionate about women empowerment. “This was a great platform for me to learn, grow and develop myself with the hope that I’ll also be an inspiration to others,” Qhina said.

“It is not just a beauty pageant, it is a women empowerment programme that raises awareness and promotes tourism in the Wild Coast. “It empowers young women with leadership and business skills, while promoting the beauty of the Eastern Cape.”

The contestants were judged based on their ability to research and present a Wild Coast destination, along with philanthropic work, social media activity and posts about the Wild Coast.

“I think I was crowned because of my authenticity and my presentation about my chosen Wild Coast destination, which was Hluleka,” Qhina said.

She added that she be would be working with the Miss Wild Coast brand in promoting
tourism in the province, and be involved in giving back to the community.

“I’m very excited about my reign,” Qhina said.

Tonise added: “Funding is the main challenge. The relevant institutions that should assist with funding are more comfortable with making funds available after seeing the
product.

“It is through the media and its support that we managed to pull through without a marketing budget.”

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