Miss Soweto to empower women

COMPANIES sponsoring beauty pageants are now taking the empowerment of women to another level.

COMPANIES sponsoring beauty pageants are now taking the empowerment of women to another level.

MTN, this year's sponsors of the Miss Soweto pageant, say tse contest this year will be more than just good looks.

Themed "Beauty is not enough", participants should brace themselves for a jam-packed empowerment programme.

"Crowning Miss Soweto 2010 is more than the celebration of beauty. It speaks to the heart and strength of the young women of South Africa," MTN's Veli Mabena says.

"Through this partnership, we believe we can help promote a healthier more wholesome way of life for our young women and, as MTN, we are hoping to assist women to fulfill their dream through empowerment and personal development."

Mabena says through this sponsorship MTN hopes to produce successful and empowered businesswomen like Basetsana Khumalo, Augustine Chuene and Doris Msibi, the previous Miss Soweto queens, who have not only made a name for themselves after entering the competition but have become role models for other young women.

He says the 12 Miss Soweto finalists will be encouraged to adopt community-based initiatives that they will support even after the pageant has passed.

"This includes the contestants that do not win. We feel that it is important for them to give back to the communities where they come from and this will assist in making them well-rounded individuals."

Mabena says the contestants will also attend business-related workshops aimed at empowering and preparing them with much needed skills in the world of business.

As if that is not enough, contestants will receive training in television production.

Pageants spokesperson Tumi Masemola says: "While staying in the house, the 20 contestants will participate in challenges which will see eight ladies being eliminated. However, they won't be sent home.

"Each one will be placed in an internship on the production and learn new skills, from make-up artistry, artist management and public relations through to the various skills required in TV show production," adds Masemola.

The queen will be crowned on October 29.