Tamelyn Geneview Bock was crowned the official winner of the inaugural Miss Wheelchair SA 2021. Bock will represent South Africa at Miss Wheelchair World in Mexico in October 2022.
The Miss Wheelchair South Africa in partnership with Universal Accessibility Hub was held at the Artscape Opera House, Cape Town, on Thursday.
The beauty pageant aims to create awareness around ‘Beauty without Barriers’ and changing the perception, narrative and image of disabled women in South Africa.
Bock, from the Northern Cape, was shocked when her name was announced. The 25-year-old said she was ready to take on the journey to remove barriers facing people with disabilities.
She explained that she was “overjoyed to be the voice” for Miss Wheelchair South Africa.
During her victory speech, Bock stated her two favourite quotes: “Start unknown and finish unforgettable” by Misty Copeland and “Be the change you want to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.
The newly crowned beauty queen won a new wheelchair from CE Mobility worth R45,000, a cushion worth R11,000 from Solutions Medical, a tablet and smartphone from Vodacom and life coaching lessons from Professional & Personal Institute of Excellence, among other prizes.
The vision of the first princess of Miss Wheelchair World, Lebohang Monyatsi, and Shama Nathoo, the founding member of Universal Accessibility Hub, through sheer determination and without a budget, was to ensure that the event took place and that South Africa would be represented at Miss Wheelchair World.
“Today being International Day of Disabled Persons, we give thanks to everyone who came on board in the shared vision that beauty has no limits. Miss Wheelchair SA was no ordinary event, it represented the inclusion of all abilities, from the MCs, performers and judges.
“Artscape Theatre played an important role in showcasing accessibility by hosting the crowning of Miss Wheelchair South Africa. We look forward and invite new partnerships to showcase inclusion and become a part of the journey in the preparation for Miss Wheelchair 2022,” said Nathoo.
“I am proud to be an ambassador for Universal Accessibility Hub, who has been instrumental in organising and making Miss Wheelchair South Africa’s dream realised,” said Monyatsi.
“Creating an awareness of the disparities and advocating for persons with disabilities is done through events such as Miss Wheelchair SA and we aim to change perceptions and start new conversations that beauty has no limitations.”
Universal Accessibility Hub (UAHub) was established in 2017 to advocate for persons with disabilities in South Africa and globally. The South African Constitution’s founding provisions highlight the values of human dignity, equality, human rights and freedom.