Miss Bachelorette: Nozipho Mashaba aims to break more barriers
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Pretoria - Nozipho Mashaba’s ego was bruised when her high school teacher told her to forget about being a chartered accountant because she would not cut it.
The ambitious teenager’s life orientation classmates burst into laughter at the teacher’s brazen prediction.
That was way back in 2012 at her home village of Ha-Kutama, in Limpopo.
“One day in my life orientation class my teacher asked me what my dream was and l responded with confidence that l dreamt of being a chartered accountant. She laughed and said to the class that we could dream, but we should not dream the impossible,” Mashaba recalls.
The 27-year-old says she was heartbroken and shattered by her teacher’s discouraging statement, which left her feeling embarrassed. However, Mashaba says she picked herself up and was determined to prove the teacher wrong.
“That comment made me want to work extra hard towards my dreams. So I would wake up early, prepare my siblings for school and go to school from 6am until 4pm, when l would rush home to assist my siblings with their homework and make sure they had their supper at 7pm, and go back to school and study until 2am,” she said.
Eight years later, Mashaba not only holds a degree in public management and governance from the University of Johannesburg, but has also enrolled for a degree in accounting. That is in addition to pursuing a modelling career.
Mashaba, an international trade officer at a major bank, is one of the 11 finalists at this year’s Miss Bachelorette SA pageant scheduled for the Ranch Hotel in Polokwane on April 10.
She describes herself as a “well-rounded girl” who is passionate about education, helping people and changing the world one day at a time.
Mashaba developed an interest in being a model when she was young, but got discouraged along the way.
“From a young age l have always loved beauty pageants, until adolescence when my body started changing, started gaining weight and l didn’t qualify to participate in beauty pageants as deemed by society. From that moment I realised how many other young girls are going through what l was. At such a young age, you are made to hate yourself, to hate your body and to see yourself as un-qualifying, undeserving and not beautiful.
“I then decided to break barriers and have my own voice that would then open the voices of many other young girls like me. I started mentoring young girls to grow their self-esteem, to enter beauty pageants, public speaking, debate and stand their own ground from a young age.”
Mashaba says she will prioritise education and women empowerment should she be crowned the next queen.
“I plan to bring awareness to education because I believe we need to educate for any change to come about in this country. I plan to work with different stakeholders and the nation at large to use educational empowerment to tackle societal issues like gender-based violence, poverty and unemployment, to implement programmes that teach and empower children from a young age on the importance of gender equality and being agents of their own future.”
The Miss Bachelorette competition is an annual event created in 2019 by former Miss South Africa finalist Refilwe Mogale.
The pageant is meant for women between the ages of 20 and 50 who are unmarried, and will take place next month.
However, due to Covid-19 regulations, no tickets will be sold for the event, Mogale said.
Fans can catch the show via live streaming on the events website and the Pretoria News, which is the pageant’s official media partner.
The link is available on the Miss Bachelorette South Africa social media pages bio.
Facebook: Miss Bachelorette South Africa