By Jonk wa Mashamba
Some of her friends had discouraged Jessica Palesa Manamela, (21) that she was unsuitable for Miss Glam SA because she had gained weight.
But Palesa wasn’t touched by the dirty talk. Fast-forward, she is one of the semi-finalists for Miss Glam South Africa 2021.
The second year college student, from Alex is joyful that she made it to the Semifinals.
“My pageant journey so far is great. I got to speak to people I’ve never spoken to before. And they are prepared to help me fulfill my dream of being the change they want to see.
“Some of them purchased tickets for the competition. And it fills my heart with great joy that they are wholeheartedly supporting me at every stage of my entrepreneurial journey in pageantry,” she says.
This is Palesa’s very first pageantry. She says she likes it all, from meetings to sessions that encourage her to do more. She says she is uplifted when she feels like giving up.
“When you do something good for the community, you also feel good. Usually when we have an event coming up, like Instagram interviews or community outreaches that other ladies took part in, the Miss glam team posts about it on their social media pages. And each day, I get inspired by the ladies I compete with.
“It’s really great to see an individual doing great things for their community.”
She says Miss Glam South Africa is a contest that promotes women to know the fundamentals of business.
“The contest taught me how to do PR. I set up an Instagram interview with one of the competition queens, Shela Manamela, who is both Miss Youth Polokwane Queen and Miss Youth Polokwane Personality.
“I also learned to do community work, which I wrote down, printed out donation forms and collected donations from my community.
“With the donation money I received from my beautiful community members, I managed to buy sanitary pads to donate to an organisation, Little Girl Arise, which partnered with Miss Glam South Africa.
Palesa is excited that Miss Glam South Africa 2021 will be crowned on 25 September 2021.
“I’m super excited to meet the ladies and everyone and also rock the stage and introduce ‘The Boss’ within me.”
The IT student told Alex Reporter that she chose pageantry because she wanted to be an inspiration to young girls who don’t think they are enough.
“I’ve been body-shamed for far too long and now I’m taking matters into my own hands and I’m showing everyone that others’ views about your body don’t matter.
“Believe In yourself and everything will fall into place. One of the challenges I faced was being told I am not skinny enough to compete and huh, guess what, here I am one of the Miss Glam South Africa semi-finalist.
“I would advise all other girls, women and young people in general not to let the opinion of others dictate the way you should live your life.
“Believe in yourself and your dreams and they will manifest for you and I’m not talking about seating all day thinking ‘I could be a great nail technician’, but I’m talking about getting up, learning new things on the internet and actually practicing to be a great nail technician.”