Deaf SA woman scoops world beauty award

By Time of article published Jul 19, 2004

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By Mapa Ishmael Modiba

South Africans will proudly tell you that we boast the most beautiful women - just look at Candice Morgan.

The 22-year-old from Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, on Saturday took first prize in the Miss Deaf World pageant in Prague, Czech Republic. Previously, she had won the Miss Deaf Gauteng and Miss Deaf South Africa competitions.

Hearing-impaired women from all over Europe and Africa took part in the annual contest, initiated in 2001 by deaf people in the Czech Republic.

The title of first princess went to Vaida Kuzminskyte, 22, of Lithuania, and the second princess to Tatyana Prichodko, 20, from Ukraine, who also won the title Miss Sympathy.

Morgan is already well known to South African television viewers, as she is a presenter, director and editor of Deaf TV (DTV) on SABC3, where she has worked since she was 16.

Recently Morgan was chosen to speak in parliament on the Broadcasting Amendment Bill.

She also plays the role of Yashika on the DTV drama Eve's Cradle. Her character is a an Indian girl from a strict Tamil family who falls pregnant. Her parents refuse to accept the pregnancy and Yashika lands in the clutches of a sinister Bulgarian and an Internet adoption project.

Morgan's mother Janet was elated on hearing that her daughter had won the Miss Deaf World crown - as she had told her what to do when she left for Prague.

"She's my only child, and has made the family proud," she said on Sunday.

Janet Morgan said her daughter had never allowed her handicap to stand in the way of her success.

"Although she was labelled as retarded by people, we always encouraged her to aim for her dreams," she said.

Elize van der Merwe, of Janique Promotions, the organisers of the Miss Deaf SA pageant, said on Sunday that Morgan was a worthy Miss Deaf World winner.

"Candice is a role-model who can be showcased to the world," she said.

A big welcome party has been planned for Morgan's arrival at Johannesburg International Airport on Thursday, her mother said.

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