Miss SA Title, Chance for Zanele to Keep Defying the Odds

For Miss SA finalist Nontobeko Zanele Phakathi, taking home the crown is more than just a childhood dream, it is a chance for her to con...


For Miss SA finalist Nontobeko Zanele Phakathi, taking home the crown is more than just a childhood dream, it is a chance for her to continue defying the odds and inspire the next generation of girls that hopes to make a difference!

“Miss South Africa to me is a young woman who is unapologetic about herself, one who celebrates herself and is not afraid to speak boldly about what she believes in. She should possess qualities of Ubuntu, humbleness, intelligence, is relatable to anyone and can converse without fear.  That is who I am and through these attributes I want to be Miss South Africa 2019 because I am ready to let my story of defying the odds be an inspiration for my peers and younger girls. Most importantly I want to represent our rainbow nation with pride”, said the Soweto, Gauteng born and bred beauty.

With Miss South Africa 2019 being crowned on Women’s Day, Zanele sees this an opportunity to honour the women who paved the way and left an indelible mark on this planet.
“The crowning will mark 63 years since 20,000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the "pass laws".  As a result, I as a 20-year-old, black woman from the biggest township in South Africa have the privilege to walk freely, to dream big and can be anything I want to be if I put my mind to it. South African women today need to honour those that marched and to never settle for mediocrity and inequality and to never be silent about the things we believe in”, she said.

Taking a leaf from all those inspirational women from the past, the gorgeous 20 year old is no doubt playing her own part in the lives of those around her. Being chosen as 1st runner up in the SA Heroes Awards 2019 under the category Youth Empowerment, Young Lead SA top 20 female change markers (2018), getting nominated for the Woman of Stature Awards in 2018 under the ‘Youth Ambassador’ category, being awarded the THUMA (Thuli Madonsela) Foundation ambassadorial role and the Rain Maker award (2019) by the South West Gauteng College are clear indications of her tireless efforts to positively impact the community around her, especially the younger generation.

The Business Information Technology student at the University of Johannesburg and is the founder and CEO of ZA Power House and Soweto Diamonds Model Academy and is the co-founder of Soweto Royalty Foundation. Zanele works with a lot of charity organisations but the one closest to her heart is Glorious Child Care Center (a children's home for orphans and children with HIV) which is in Braamfischer, Soweto. She spent her 19th & 20th birthday at the centre and her family and friends joined her and donated clothes, food and snacks to make the celebration more meaningful.

Zanele Power House (ZA Power House) is an NPO founded in 2018 that aims to change lives of young people in Soweto. It is all about inspiring the youth by creating opportunities for them.

On the other hand, Soweto Royalty Foundation (SRF) is a foundation which was founded in 2015 with its main focus being the empowerment of youths, especially physically and mentally handicapped teenagers residing in Soweto. It has already hosted a pageant for handicapped children at Eyethu Home Based Care Centre in Mofolo, Soweto.

Last but not least is Soweto Diamonds Academy of course, a modelling academy that focuses on pageantry and grooming aspiring pageant queens and models.

 In conclusion to our interview, the inspirational young woman made sure to share a few nuggets of wisdom with the younger generation in the hope that those few words will change somebody outlook on life.

 “There will be a phase in your life where you may feel helpless and that it is all is over. That happened to me when I was in a car accident and my doctor said it is a miracle I survived. I missed a whole year of school; I couldn’t walk and I lost the hearing in one ear. For others it may be due to debt, pressure to achieve goals you didn’t even set for yourself, abuse, bullying or illness. Just know you are in it to overcome it. God will never give you a battle you can’t triumph over. You’re bigger than your problems, so treat them like hurdles and not an end to your dreams”, she said.

Zanele feels that winning the title would be the culmination of a journey that started at the mere age of 12 when she scooped her very first title, the Little Miss Dobsonville 2011. She is currently signed with BOSS Models and Gaenor Artist for acting and has done a number of television commercials (adverts). Miss Phakathi has travelled to USA (2013) and India (2017) and her biggest title was the Miss Pre-Teen South Africa 2013 which opened overseas opportunities for her.


social media tags:

Facebook: Zanele Phakathi
Instagram: @zanelephakathi
Twitter: @zazaphakathi

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Urban Craft Magazine: Miss SA Title, Chance for Zanele to Keep Defying the Odds
Miss SA Title, Chance for Zanele to Keep Defying the Odds
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