The 19-year-old Puseletso Makoro, a matriculant from Brebner High School, was recently crowned Miss Teen Free State 2017 in the first pageant she has ever entered. Makoro said she entered the pageant to gain a platform which would help her start her cause, which sees both privileged and underprivileged to realise their potential. “I’ve been wanting to enter modelling competitions for a long time, but I had medical complications, so I had to deal with that first. I was a dancer, and now that I’m better, I wanted to be an example to others, to show that it doesn’t matter when you get there, you just have to believe in yourself,” said Makoro.
Makoro said she felt overwhelmed that she had started with such a big pageant, but as time went by she found her feet. “It was my first pageant ever, I didn’t know what to expect. I did not know how I had to look or act, but I decided to just be myself. I was also writing exams at that time, and applying to further my studies. I had to go expose myself to the public so that they could vote for me. Finding the perfect dress was also challenging.”
She said she also felt that she had to choose between her studies and the pageant, with her parents, Michael and Elizabeth Makoro constantly reminding her that she was in matric, which took priority.
Makoro said because the pageant is a philanthropic pageant, she has met a lot of wonderful models and philanthropists who have dedicated their time to giving back to others, which has inspired her to do more. She said that she has a great love for children, and has always been a part of charity organisations in her schools. She is currently a member of Interact, a Brebner organisation which supplies a soup kitchen in Bloemfontein that helps to feed those in need. She is now focusing on her campaign #Don’tAbuseHerEducateHer. The projects asks people to donate stationery, books and sanitary pads to help young girls in need. She also wants to hold more educational talks at schools, which will help people talk out against woman and child abuse.
Makoro said she is thankful to everyone who donated and helped her raise funds during the pageant. She added that she was also grateful for the great support she has received from her school and peers. To find out more about her charity work, or for bookings contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– SEITHATI SEMENOKANE