Muslim woman pushing boundaries by eyeing Empress SA crown
Petronella Aaisha Khumalo, 24, is a semi-finalist in the online beauty pageant that makes it possible for young hopefuls to live out their dreams of lending a hand to uplift communities.
Khumalo, who lives in Joburg and is a Gauteng semi-finalist in the competition, told The Star she entered the pageant because she wanted to be seen and valued for all she is.
“I always wanted to be a model and due to the fact I always received a no, I saw this as a platform that I can build my brand and that someone can notice me and be able to see my value,” she said.
Empress South Africa is a network that empowers women to give back to the community and better themselves as individuals.
The pageant is an online performance-based competition.
Khumalo said: “They are trying to train us to become influencers, also create our own social media channels and blogs.
“All the activities that I do, I have to post them on my Facebook and Instagram,” she explained.
Provincial winners will take part in the grand finale in Durban on December 16, where they will compete on the ramp. The ultimate winner will be chosen that evening.
She added that they are judged solely based on their online presence and everything is correspondence-based until the final.
“The judging and the presenters are online; we haven’t seen them yet. We are judged based on online activities.” she said.
Khumalo said giving back to the community has always been close to her heart, and she appreciated that she could make a difference in the community as the Empress SA.
“I have bigger dreams and a caring heart. I love volunteering and giving back to the community.”
The semi-finalist has been involved in projects, which include environmental care campaigns and at orphanages.
“I help clean up parks; for example, the Northcliff Eco Park, Albert farm and more. I was also involved in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos,” said Khumalo.
She also helped the Malaika Children’s Orphanage in Hillbrow and Marang House in Randburg.
“I collect all types of donations and hand them out to the children. It makes me so happy to see their smiles and joy being reflected on their faces,” she said.
She said that she has a passion for yoga and has used it to educate others as part of the pageant activities.
Her and the other finalists have a common goal and that is to grow and be empowered,
“I know my passion for giving back to the community and my dedication to the planet will continue to grow and that I have inspired and given hope to someone that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Khumalo said.