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Molding confidence through pageantry

Meet Dipalesa and Nthabeleng the new co-owners of the Miss Free State pageant


Mental health and gender based violence are issues we must empower our young ladies to deal with. The world of pageantry requires intelligence, confidence and an overall well balanced lifestyle. As we resume our lives post the global pandemic, as we chart a new normal for ourselves and our families, let us be inspired by the confidence, resilience and enthusiasm of the Miss Free State finalist as they tackle their Miss Free State journey under the "new norm".


The Miss Free State pageant aims to empower young women to be independent, confident and resilient. New pageant owners Chief Executive Officer Nthabeleng Kgabutlane and Chief Operating Officer Dipalesa Mbola say emphasis in 2022 is to champion mental health and related issues because of the surge in cases of mental health in South Africa with devastating consequences both for the victims and their immediate families and relatives. They say Miss Free State is more than just pageantry, it is a foundation from which to build an inclusive socio-economic ecosystem that underscores the strengths and the qualities of women, especially young women, across the country. Our editor Kamogelo Seekoei catches up with the CEO.


When did you take over Miss Free State?

The negotiations started 23rd of February 2022 and the final sale occurred the 1st of March. It hasn't been an easy transition as we had to resume after 2-3 years of no activity due to lockdowns caused by the global pandemic. We have had to refine and redesign the whole concept of Miss Free State to reignite it.


What is the mission and vision of the pageant?

Our vision is to empower young women to be independent, confident and resilient. And our mission is to empower women with skills needed to adapt and go back and enrich their communities through our Miss Free State pageantry and as the world is constantly evolves.


What would you hope to achieve with the business?

We hope to redefine the industry of pageantry as a whole. We would love to add on to the legacy that has been built by Ani and Yolande. We look forward to being all about the empowerment of ladies who choose go be a part of our pageant, not only making the difference in the life of the girl who is crowned.



What can you say has been the highlight so far?

Our workshops have played a critical role in our pursuit of empowering these girls. Ensuring that the ladies will leave with life skills that they can use in school, in their personal lives as well as in their careers is very important to us because we understand that not everyone will be crowned on that anticipated night but the months they've spent with us should absolutely count for something.



Our pursuit of inclusion

Miss Free State is more than just pageantry, it is a foundation from which to build an inclusive socio-economic ecosystem that underscores the strengths and the qualities of women, especially young women, across the country. The vision is fundamental to the ideals of not only attaining an equal and just society but affording young women a platform for self-discovery, upliftment of communities and the pursuit of career development in their respective fields and disciplines.

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