Miss Teen Universal South Africa 2023, Boitshepo Lamola, has her eyes on conquering the global stage.
The 18-year-old will represent South African during the Miss Teen Universal 2024 pageant in Lima, Peru, on April 23, 2024.
Lamola was born in Gauteng, lived with my grandmother in Limpopo for her nursery school days, before settling back in the golden province.
She did her foundation education at Oost Eind Laerskool and proceeded to Curro Academy, where she remained until matric.
"My upbringing was a bliss; I have one sibling who is more than a decade older than me. I call her my deputy parent,“ she said.
“My mother made sure that my sister and I had the best she could give. I have a good support system at home from my mom, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles to my grandmother.”
Lamola said although home was a safe space, school was not always so nice because of the bullying. “My skin complexion was made fun off by my peers, and I was a little chubby.
“I outgrew my chubby body. So, I want to show the world that black is beautiful and I can do it from the dusty roads of my township.”
Her modelling journey started at Thandeka agency, then moved on to Vogue Models. She was a finalist for International Junior Miss South Africa and has won a couple of other tittles.
“I know I am beautiful, without any fear or doubt, and what better way to do it than on the world stage in Peru,” she said.
Her advise to other teens who want to follow in her footsteps is “be the change you want to see”.
“I quote from Zozi Tunzi: Take up space and cement yourself,” she added.
Lamola is a strong advocate for education, gender-based violence and mental health. She is awaiting registration at Unisa, where she intend to enroll for Business Management.
“I am working on my brand B’lamo Foundation and B’lamo Modeling Academy, which caters for middle-class and under privileged young girls. A boy child is not excluded,” she said.
“Once my brand picks up, I intend to go to a full-time university to further my studies. My goal is to instil a champion’s mind to people I have an encounter with and those in my circle.
“My philosophy is that the moon and the sun both shine when it's their time. Everyone will have their chance to shine when the time is right. Keep smiling ans be kind, it gives someone hope.”
On the stage, Lamola was first runner-up for Miss Teen Grand South Africa and Miss Charity 2023.
And when the title for Miss Universal was introduced last year she entered and was crowned the winner.
Just like Miss SA, first runner-up represents the country on the world stage.
"I am excited for my queen, I'm proud to walk this journey with her," said national director for Miss Teen Grand South Africa and Miss Teen Universal South Africa, Yondela Mlambo.