Beauty has no boundaries: First Miss Wheelchair World breaks down barriers for disabled women
8 November 2017
The world’s first Miss Wheelchair World was held in Poland recently.
Aleksandra Chichikova was crowned the first ever Miss Wheelchair World.
“Fight your anxiety and your fears,” said Aleksandra, a 23-year-old psychology student, after clinching the title.
Lebohang Monyatsi from South Africa was runner-up ahead of Poland’s Adrianna Zawadzinska.
The competition, organised by a Polish foundation, is the first of its kind on a global scale.
Contest co-founder and jury president Katarzyna Wojtaszek-Ginalska told AFP the goal was the event was to “change the image of women in wheelchairs so they would not be judged solely by this attribute”.
The event also aimed to highlight that a wheelchair is a luxury in many parts of the world, she added.
Competitors were chosen either in national rounds or by non-governmental organisations.
Miss Wojtaszek-Ginalska added: “It is not the looks that matter the most…we have focused especially on the personality of the girls, their everyday activities, their involvement, social life, plans.”
The contestants spent eight days in the Polish capital participating in rehearsals, photo shoots, conferences and visits. The event featured contestants from countries including Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia and the United States.
About Lebo Monyatsi
Lebohang Monyatsi is Africa’s 1st Runaway Model who uses a Wheelchair. She was also a Finalist for Face of the Globe 2017: the one and only Finalist with a disability. She studied Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Communications Sciences. She won the 1st prize at the 2nd South African Youth Awards in the category “Extra Ordinary Champions”. She challenged the status quo by being Africa’s 1st runway model on a wheelchair-, this has never been seen in an African Continent. She is recognised for representing her country, South Africa in the field of Wheelchair Basketball.
She has represented South Africa in the following countries:
- 2015: Algeria, Paralympics Qualifiers,
- 2012: Mexico, Paralympics qualifies,
- 2009: Quatamal, in South America, World cup qualifiers
- 2008: Namibia, international friendly games Above all, she is passionate about disability inclusion and accessible features for all.