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Miss Deaf SA finalist wants to bring change

Nikita Pillay is one of the top 12 finalists in Miss Deaf South Africa. SUPPLIED

Nikita Pillay is one of the top 12 finalists in Miss Deaf South Africa. SUPPLIED

Published Jul 16, 2023


Durban - A Miss Deaf South Africa finalist hopes to bring change to the lives of deaf people.

A qualified chef and teacher, Nikita Pillay, 27, is one of the top 12 finalists in Miss Deaf SA 2023. Pillay facilitates sign language classes at the KZN Blind and Deaf Society.

She has always loved watching Miss Universe and wanted to be a model, but had never thought of entering a beauty pageant. As she grew older and faced more challenges in life, she decided to compete in Miss Deaf South Africa so she could change the world for the better.

She said this was her first pageant competition and believed the time to fight for change had come.

Miss Deaf SA finalist Nikita Pillay, fourth from right, with some of her sign language learners.

“I have had many challenges in my life that have taught me how deaf people feel in scenarios of frustration, hopelessness, rejection and loneliness. We have been fighting for what we want for years, yet nothing has changed. That is why I am determined to win,” she said.

“If I win, I will develop career opportunities for deaf people on par with hearing people, and I will encourage young deaf people to pursue their dreams. Anyone can alter the world, and it is in our hands (in hearing and deaf communities) to make a positive influence in the world,” said Pillay.

She also wants to raise deaf awareness in South Africa.

“Young deaf individuals experience a lot of rejection when they apply for jobs. There are also communication difficulties in their jobs, hospitals, police stations, and anywhere else because most people do not know sign language. I believe fighting these obstacles would resolve current frustrations,” she added.

Miss Deaf SA will take place in Die Bron Kerk, Cape Town, on September 9.

The Independent on Saturday

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