Bloem crowns its first ever Miss Congeniality

The winners of Miss Congeniality Free State 2022 are from the left: Mathapelo Ditlhareng (first princess), Relebohile Lerata (Miss Congeniality Free State 2022) and Bronwyn Maasdorp (second princess). PHOTOS: ANIKA GIBSON (ANIKA_ANNE_PHOTOGRAPHY)

The first ever Miss Congeniality Free State pageant, which took place at the Civic Theatre, has successfully crowned Relebohile Lerata as its first winner.

She walked away with a R5000 cash prize, gift vouchers, as well as a modelling contract with FM Modelling Agency.

According to Jo-anne Reed, CEO and founder of FM Modelling Agency, the pageant will be held annually. “Girls and women between the ages of 14 and 25 can also look forward to entering for Miss FM Teen and Miss FM 2022 as the application forms will be available from 4 until 30 April at Legit store in Twin City Mall.”

Jo-anne Reed, CEO and founder of FM Modelling Agency (left), and Relebohile Lerata, Miss Congeniality Free State 2022

Relebohile Lerata told Bloemfontein Courant that winning feels like a dream she never wants to wake up from. “I’m so proud of myself for making my biggest dream come true and I’m also so excited for the journey ahead. This reassures me that I’m one step closer to accomplishing my life goals,” she said.

Lerata said that she hopes to continue breaking the stigma around mental illnesses as well as assisting in unlearning the toxic habits that hold people bondage to mental illnesses. “I intend to expand my movement by going to various schools and talking to learners about the dangers of bullying.”

Lerata’s advice to those who want to take on this journey is that you should believe in yourself. “Being in a pageant is definitely not easy. It comes with a lot of sacrifices and challenges along the way, but patience is key,” she said.

Justine Fortuin