Miss Unity SA 2021 finalist, Shelly Tebele (26) wants to bring the crown home. The beautiful, kind hearted lass from Riba Cross, is not only passionate about pageantry.
She has also worked with several charities in and around Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM).
“My love for modelling started when my sister took part in the Miss Turf competition few years ago, then Bokang Montjane just paved the way for all black women like me, and then I fell in love with beauty pageants,” she told this publication.
Detailing her history in modelling, Tebele said she was first told to focus on her studies.
“My mom told me to first, finish matric, then I can pursue anything I wanted in life, I did just that. Got my first qualification in 2017, Diploma in law, I am currently busy with my Bachelor of Law, hoping to do my Masters very soon,” she quipped.
In 2015, she started entering competitions, without a mentor. Among her accolades is being the Miss Limpopo 2015 Semi-finalist, Miss Burgersfort Public Choice 2016, Miss Justice Pageant South Africa, first Runner Up 2017, Miss Eagle South Africa Warrior Princess 2018 and many more.
“I guess me competing in pageants and the challenges I came across throughout out this path, and always being open minded to advices, it’s how I actually acquired the experience i have today,” she smiled as she spoke to Sekhukhune Times.
She added, “Last year (2020) I then decided, why not take a last lap in the pageant industry? I then entered Miss Unity South Africa 2021.”
Amazingly, after entering this competition, she was amongst the top 30 (finalists) in votes.
The voting lines ran for about a month and two weeks. They closed on December 2020.
Upon the closing date of the competition, she was the leading contestant with 2357 votes.
She said after they qualified for the finals, they were then tasked with assisting in community outreach project. “My community outreach project I did at Atok, a place called Mooilek, at a Home Based Care called Potlake Integrated Home Based Care.
“One of the reasons i chose this one in particular is that, i believe that the women & men who work at home based care are the heart of the community and they deserve recognition and support.”
The model is also fully committed to an NPO called Angels of Planet Earth for The Mentally Challenged Adults.
“I needed a different project that i can learn from, at the end of the day, its about leaning and growing, expanding your horizon and conquering the fear of the unknown.”
She continued to do more, and partnered with Sekhukhune Environmental Justice Network, to start a campaign to raise sanitary towels for girls who cannot afford them.
“So far we’ve raised about 70 packs which the target initially was 100 packs, and those that want to play a part can contact us. Struggle of sanitary towels is an ongoing pandemic in our country, and we believe the little we do, goes a long way.
“The Miss Unity South Africa (MUSA) pageant is an initiative for women between the ages of 16 and 28. It is about women empowerment. It is about helping women to elaborate and create what they can be or do. It serves as a platform for women to reunite and end hatred among themselves.”
She said dates for the finale have not been confirmed but the crowning would take place later this year. “I’m very excited and looking forward to bringing the crown home,” she said