Who will be crowned Miss Deaf South Africa 2020?
17 Nov 2020
By Lebohang Monyatsi
The countdown to the Miss Deaf South Africa (MDSA) pageant in February 2021 is gathering momentum and the 10 finalists are getting ready to showcase their talents to the country.
One of them, Chanika Viljoen (27), from Kempton Park, says it has been her dream to compete in the competition. “I feel very proud of myself. This will be the title of my dreams. I feel incredibly honoured to be part of the Miss Deaf SA finalists and I cannot wait to meet all the beautiful finalists.”
Viljoen is currently working as an accountant and believes being deaf does not limit her and that she can achieve anything that she puts her mind to.
She says she is self-motivated, goal-driven, takes challenges as opportunities for growth as well as changing perceptions regarding the deaf community.
“I entered the pageant to create awareness and to remove the stigma around the deaf rainbow nation of South Africa. I feel I can make a difference to the less privileged people and make a change in their lives,” Viljoen says.
The MDSA 2020 pageant will be held at Heartfelt Arena, Pretoria on February 27, 2021. Tickets to the gala evening can be bought from finalists or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
MDSA is a non-profit organisation that was founded by Narda and Gert Els in 2000. The pageant’s mission, according to its website (www.missdeafsa.co.za), is to become a vehicle for bridging the communication gap between the deaf and hearing communities. To achieve this, it organises the annual beauty pageant to showcase the undiscovered talent among deaf society and to create life-changing experiences and other opportunities for deaf and hearing-impaired girls.
MDSA spokesperson Chantal Booyse says the organisation hopes to share a message that speaks of a sense of unity, diversity and community.
“In our MDSA community we have managed to foster a culture of supporting each other as well as learning from each other. We have contestants of different backgrounds, so I also want to help them to embrace each other and help them realise that we are more alike than we are different, regardless of our backgrounds,” she says.
The MDSA top 10 finalists were announced on social media in March 2020. Since then they have been hosting events to raise awareness and to help them raise R5 000 each. According to Booyse, they will be judged on all this, as well as their activities on social media about sponsors, a portfolio and interviews the day before the gala.
On the evening of the gala contestants will be judged based on different categories.
“The top three will be expected to become ambassadors of South Africa and the deaf community and must strive to educate the hearing community and foster the culture of acceptance, acknowledgement and understanding. They will receive R 5000 cash after the end of their reign. We hope to give them prizes worth at least R10 000. This cannot be determined yet as we are still in discussion with sponsors for prizes,” Booyse says.