Fighting the silent killer one pageant at a time
Miss KZN Queen is a beauty pageant that seeks to motivate and inspire young women in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The pageant was established in 2018 by Zime Msweli and Mpumelelo Kweyama.
Zime Msweli, who is the co-founder of the pageant, said dealing with the loss of her friend inspired her to start the pageant. “What inspired me to start the pageant was the death of my friend, who committed suicide because of depression and also my personal experiences with it,” she said.
Miss KZN queen is about empowering young women and breaking the silent killer.
“We decided to create a space for young women like us in our province to open up and be supported and use whatever they have learned from the pageant to help those suffering in silence,” said Zime.
Zime said the pageant is not just about beauty, it seeks to produce a young woman who can achieve the unthinkable while inspiring other young people to regain their confidence.
“The goal is not to pick the most beautiful young lady in KZN as a winner for her appearance, but to use her beauty to further a meaningful purpose,” she said.
Sisekelo Gwala who, is a semi-finalist contestant for Miss KZN Queen said that such pageants deserve greater acknowledgement as they have a core purpose that creates awareness and empowers the society.
“Such pageants give inspiration and help in the elimination of stigmas adopted in the society,” she said.
The 21-year-old contestant from Newcastle said that the pageant has had a great influence in her life.
“I’ve become self-conscious, more positive and confident knowing that we all go through challenges. What you go through doesn’t define you and shouldn’t keep you from pursuing your dreams,” she said.
The co-founder of the beauty pageant said this year’s pageant was supposed to take place on the 4th of July, but that was not possible as the country went to the national lockdown. They hope that they will find a venue as soon as things get back to normal.
“The pageant is still going to take place as soon as everything is back to normal,” she said.
Picture: Miss KZN Queen