Hands-on Miss SA out to make a difference

BOKANG Montjane is here to bring back the long gone philanthropy to beauty pageants.

She was crowned a few weeks ago but is already making her presence felt. The Limpopo beauty is fed up with vanity.

She is getting her hands dirty working on projects aimed at uplifting the youth of South Africa.

This week the 23-year-old is embarking on road shows at schools in Soweto and Alexandra to talk about teenage pregnancy and other issues affecting young people.

It is rare to get a Miss SA who lives up to her promises after she has been crowned. Most of them make lofty promises about changing the world - but as soon as they wipe the tears of joy from their faces after being crowned, they embrace a life of glamour, parties and vanity.

"I'm all about action. The aim of the project is to encourage young people to live a positive life. You only get a year and it is important to make the best of it," she says.

On Friday the Ministry of Sports and Recreation endorsed her as one of the ambassadors to help rally the nation round national sports teams.

Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula said Miss SA was a powerful tool that should be used to address issues in society.

"Women should not be seen as sex objects but as something to be celebrated.

"The main emphasis is beauty but there is also a lot of excellence that goes with Miss SA.

"The ministry is happy to have Bokang on board. She is an action-orientated person who is concerned about social ills, which is very important in what the ministry is trying to do."

The last time South Africa had beauty queens who were prepared to dirty their hands was with Basetsana Kumalo, Jackie Mofokeng and Jo-Ann Strauss.

Sun International spokesperson Sue Klerck said when her company handled the pageant there had never been a beauty queen who has stepped into action as quickly as Montjane.