MDSA and their partners presents:
Shelley Buckle – Miss Deaf South Africa 2011
Another Durban beauty took the crown
Shelley Buckle, the 21-year-old beauty from Durban, KwaZulu Natal was crowned Miss Deaf South Africa 2011. The prestigious crowning ceremony took place at Emnotweni Casino, Nelspruit on Saturday, October 8.
“Stay true to yourself. Don’t try to change yourself for anyone. It is not worth it.”
Wise words from a lady who clearly knows how to overcome her personal challenges and has the passion to inspire others to do the same. In her first interview shortly after she was crowned Shelley said she is overwhelmed but very excited. “It is a dream come true to have this opportunity to truly become a role model and inspiration for hearing impaired as well as hearing people – something I always wanted to be. I want to be a proud ambassador for South Africa, especially the hearing impaired community of South Africa, representing my country in the Miss Deaf World Competition next year” she said.
This young student from Durban has great plans for the future from increasing awareness of the challenges faced by the deaf community of South Africa and encouraging the hearing community to engage in the art of sign language to possibly creating a website where hearing and hearing impaired people can connect and thus create a bridge between the two groups within our society. “I am particularly passionate about young, underprivileged deaf children who often does not get the opportunity to excel beyond their challenges due to the lack of resources and support.”
The final results:
Miss Deaf South Africa 2011 Shelley Buckle 20 years Kwa-Zulu Natal
1st Princess Lauren White 21 years Gauteng
2nd Princess Lefa Manamela 20 years Gauteng
Miss HESC Ashley Hodgkinson 20 years Kwa-Zulu Natal
Miss Personality Isabella Maake 18 years Limpopo
Miss Photogenic Rhando Hlongwane 24 years Gauteng
The Crowning event was a great success with Steven Segal, former Mr South Africa 2009 and Queenie from MPower as the Master of Ceremony pair and was attended by various well-known personalities such as Laurette Batstone -Mrs South Africa 2010; Manda Gomes -Mrs Africa 2011; Nikita Pauluk –Miss Teen Universe 2011; Dante Joubert – Little Miss Petite Africa 2011; The Honourable MEC of Finance Mrs Pinky Phosa; 14. Ettienne Bruwer – owner of Amarula / Distell Wines; Jacques Lombard - Regional Manager CANSA; Christopher Nair - Provincial Director DeafSA; Col M.M. Matanda – Officer Commanding Air Force Base Hoedspruit and Christine Du Preez - DA – Hoedspruit to name but a few.
Mbali Nkosi, Miss Deaf South Africa 2010 and recently crowned Miss Deaf Africa 2011 also attended to hand over the crown.
“This year’s competition exceeded our greatest expectations” said Wilmarine Riekert, co-ordinator of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) and co-organizer of the competition for the past three years. “The contestants had the opportunity to interact with cheetahs and elephants form HESC and Camp Jabulani, Kapama; reptiles from Khamai Reptile Park, Hoedspruit and experience a bit of the Lowveld Bush at the centre. HESC is proud to be associated with the MDSA pageant and wishes the winners all the best for their year of reign” she said.
Ettienne Bruwer, owner of Amarula / Distell Wines and also sponsor of the MDSA for the past three years said: “ It is a privilege for Amarula to be associated with the Miss Deaf South Africa Pageant. We see Amarula as the ambassadorial drink of Africa, showcasing the uniqueness of our country. In synergy we see the pageant as an awesome platform for these young girls to be the voice and true ambassadors for the hearing impaired community of South Africa and the rest of the country.”
The main sponsor of the crowning event was, Emnotweni Casino, Nelspruit. In his welcoming speech Assistant Marketing Manager, Nathi Horo said “It gave us great pleasure to host the MDSA pageant at the Emnotweni Arena. We believe this initiative to be an invaluable and meaningful platform for showcasing the talents, beauty and accomplishments of young deaf woman. At the same time, the pageant provides an opportunity to build greater public consciousness of the hearing impaired community of South Africa. The team at Emnotweni Casino excitedly accepted the invitation to help stage this year’s pageant, particularly since it will be the last time for some time that the Miss Deaf SA will take place in Mpumalanga.
Jacques Lombard, Regional Manager of CANSA is very excited about the new relationship between CANSA and MDSA. He explained: “ Shelley will be offered a volunteer contract with CANSA giving her the opportunity to get involved in various CANSA projects within her region as well as get the opportunity to receive training from CANSA to assist in the creating of awareness of breast cancer. We are very excited about the prospects of the affiliation with MDSA and the reaction on this unique initiative was overwhelming’ he concluded.
Leviena Human, administrator and financial manager of Miss Deaf South Africa said: “The competition would not have been possible without the support and assistance of our partners, sponsors, the founders and of course the volunteer organizer group. We salute all who contributed to make this event the best ever in the history of Miss Deaf SA”
Written by Zanne de Bruin