No looking back for aspiring Miss SA beauties
Like the 12 hopefuls who hope to be crowned tonight, these two young ladies spent most of their childhood dreaming of becoming Miss SA.
But they are not only dreaming but physically working towards wearing the jewel-encrusted tiara.
Chloe Sandberg and Smangele Nyathi are currently ambassadors for the Miss Eagle SA pageant. This pageant seeks to unearth and develop leaders, someone who inspires the greatness of a woman, to make a difference in the country and to inspire the youth to achieve their dreams.
The winner, who will be crowned in December, will also represent South Africa on international platforms.
Sandberg, 19, from Coronationville, west of Johannesburg, says adamantly she will win this crown as well be Miss SA in the next five years.
Her plan is to enter the pageant at the age of 24 when she finishes her foundation phase education degree.
Having been a winning drum majorette for the past nine years, she took advice from former Miss SA, Liesl Laurie, who participated in the same sport.
"I have been a drum majorette most of my life and I now act as a coach for the sport. When I met Liesl Laurie in 2015, I was ecstatic to know we shared the same passions. I expressed my desire to become a Miss SA one day and she is now my mentor.
"She guided me and told me exactly how to go about this journey. She has been really amazing," Sandberg says.
Nyathi, 19, from Springs, east of Johannesburg, says she particularly entered Miss Eagle SA 2018 as a stepping stone to Miss SA.
"I strongly believe that I have created greater opportunities for myself to participate successfully in Miss South Africa as I have gained experience in this pageant which I believe will be vital in Miss SA."
Nyathi says she already feels empowered.
"I would one day like to see myself having an important and a positive impact on other young women by inspiring them to do the same. As soon as the 2018 Miss Eagle contest has been completed, I wish to give other women a chance to enter the 2019 contest and experience what I have.
"I have learnt about women empowerment, giving back to the communities. As Eagles, we focus merely on soaring up and we never look back. I became a contestant then a brand ambassador, and now I am a semifinalist. My next plan is to take the crown home.
"And hopefully, in the next two years, I'll be ready to enter Miss SA after I've finished my accounting degree," says Nyathi.
Sandberg has also forcefully thrown herself into community and charity work.
She hopes to enter Miss Teen Commonwealth next year, whether or not she bags the Miss Eagle title.
Sandberg took up modelling in February in a bid to build herself as a brand.
She says the agency, Made to Fly Talent Management, reached out to her after spotting her on her Instagram page.
"It's important to build a public profile and become known before I even reach that big stage. I got a taste of working with Miss SA staff when their make-up artist applied my make-up with a fashion shoot, and her husband did the photoshoot for Danela Lux. It's a step closer to my dream."
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