People

Meet the top 10

Meet the top 10

The Miss Ballito pageant helps young women find their confidence, strength and voice and offers them a platform from which they are able to truly give back to the community they grew up in. Here are this year’s top 10 finalists.

Chanelle Hardcastle, 18
From the small town of Stanger, Chanelle Hardcastle believes the Miss Ballito title brings with it a responsibility to help
those less fortunate and a chance to have her voice heard.

What quality do you like most about yourself? I would say my simplicity. I can liaise with all of walks of life, irrespective of culture, age or gender.
Where is your favourite place to hang out on the North Coast? La Montagne, because it has a lovely, warm atmosphere and accommodates all age groups.
Who do you look up to and why? Demi Leigh Nel Peters (Miss SA 2017). She is strong and fearless, yet kind and passionate. She was criticised on social media but stood against all odds and became Miss Universe. She is proof that anything you really want and work hard for can be achieved.

Andiswa Dlamini, 19
Mandeni-born Andiswa Dlamini entered the Miss Ballito pageant with a hope of being able to serve others while also growing herself and improving her self-confidence.

What qualities do you like most about yourself? Authenticity. I believe that the most important thing I can bring to this world is my truest self because in that way I am able to serve my purpose accordingly.
What is your secret indulgence? Chocolate Muffins.
Who do you look up to and why? My mom. Throughout my life I have had the privilege of witnessing the true strength that a woman possesses. Through her I have acquired a spirit of resilience and felt complete unconditional love.

Ashleen Naidoo, 19
Her never-give-up attitude is what motivated Seatides resident Ashleen Naidoo to enter the Miss Ballito pageant for the second year in a row. Motivated by a strong desire to give back and help her community, Ashleen’s interest lies in women empowerment and helping one less person go hungry every day.

What qualities do you like most about yourself? My confidence is the quality I am most proud of. I grew up with self-esteem issues, I feared people and I suffered with depression from feeling inadequate. I’ve overcome so much since then.
Where is your favourite place in Ballito to hang out? I absolutely love shopping so I’d say Ballito Junction is my favourite place to hang out.
What is your secret indulgence? Milktart. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Rochelle van Eck, 21
Rochelle van Eck is a Chiropractic student who grew up in Ladysmith. Her motivation for entering the pageant is to help and empower others and make a real difference.

What sets you apart from the other contestants? I think the fact that I am a strong, confident woman who is not intimidated, able to chase after big dreams and to lead by example.
What makes you blush? When someone genuinely compliments me.
What three things can you not live without every day? God, my family and hope.
Who do you look up to and why? My mom because she is the strongest person I know. She works extremely hard, cares for us, runs the household, is an amazing wife and mother and always has a solution for everything – all with a smile on her face!

Hannah Louise Gillitt, 24
She grew up on a sugar cane farm just outside of Umhlali and moved to Pietermaritzburg to attend St John’s DSG high school. Hannah was motivated to enter by her friends and family and a desire to move out of her comfort zone and embark on a new journey.

What quality do you like most about yourself, and why? My spirit. No matter what life throws at me I am always able to get back up and carry on fighting.
What is your secret indulgence? Escaping into another world at the movies. I studied screen acting and am passionate about drama. I love characters, movie scenes and scripts.
Who do you look up to, and why? My family. My mom and dad, Dean and Michelle, survived a farm attack in 2014. My sister Sarah was diagnosed with bone cancer last year and stayed positive and strong, despite having to leave university to undergo all her procedures, only to return at the end of the year to finish her exams and graduate! My family are hands down the strongest people I know.

Milan Dhaniram, 20
In her final year as a psychology and international relations student, Salt Rock’s Milan Dhaniram entered the Miss Ballito pageant to learn and grow within herself and serve her community – something she is very passionate about.

What sets you apart from the other contestants? All the girls in the pageant have something different to offer. I think having a sibling with a disability has given me an empathetic heart towards those in need.
What makes you blush? I guess when a handsome guy looks my way, or when anyone gives me a genuine compliment!
What is your secret indulgence? Pistachio ice cream!
Who do you look up to and why? Definitely my mother and my late grandmother. They both taught me valuable lessons on being kind to others, making time to help those in need and being an ambitious business woman . . . and I adore their sense of elegant style!

Sansiya Sabrina Govender, 21
Sansiya wants to be a ray of sunshine in the lives of those who think they are living in darkness. Business Management student Sansiya was born in Salt Rock and moved to Seatides when she was eight years old.

What is the quality you most like about yourself? I never judge a person by their outward appearance.
What makes you blush? When my loved ones shower me with loads of love and attention.
What three things can you not live without every day? God, food and my cell phone.
Who do you look up to and why? My mom. I’ve never seen a woman so strong, brave and hardworking. She gives me hope for better days and has never given up no matter how tough situations might have been. Her heart is gold.

Amy Jade Dakers, 18
She’s always had a passion for children, particularly those less fortunate, and a long-standing interest in modelling, but the mere fact that Amy was able to enter the pageant is somewhat of a miracle.

What sets you apart from the other contestants? The fact that I was even able to enter the pageant, despite all the challenges I’ve faced recently. I was in a bad motorbike accident last year and in no condition to enter when entries opened. A former teacher of mine, Karen Landman, told me the entry date had been extended and I was over the moon. I got out of my last back brace at the beginning of May and am so excited to have this opportunity.
What quality do you like most about yourself, and why? I’m an overcomer. I have been dealt some hard blows over the last couple of years, and when it has often seemed easier to just give up, I have continued to persevere, work hard and fight with all my might to rise above my circumstances.

Sejal Reddy, 18
A first-year psychology student at Varsity College Durban North, Sejal spent seven years of her life in the United Kingdom before moving back to South Africa in 2009. The potential to help and inspire the next generation motivated her to enter the pageant.

What sets you apart from the other contestants? I am ambitious, driven and determined. I am also kind, caring, fun-loving and relatable.
What is the quality you like most about yourself? My independence. I have always had an independent nature and I intend to live my life knowing I can take care of myself without having to rely on anyone else. Independence makes me feel strong, bold and beautiful.
What is your secret indulgence? Chocolate Nostalgia cake from Chateau Gateaux.

Taniel Trueman, 19
Originally from Durban, Taniel is studying a Bachelor of Education. Taniel says Miss Ballito is renowned for having kind-hearted contestants who have done a lot for their community. She wants to follow their footsteps as a role model for younger generations.

What quality do you like most about yourself, and why? I am KIND – which stands for (K)confident, (I)ntelligent, (N)atural and (D)ynamic.
Where is your favourite place to hang out in Ballito? Litchi Orchard.
What is your secret indulgence? Shopping sprees with smoothie stops.

Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Gavin Higgins (www.gavinhigginsphotography.com) 

 

 

 

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