Pretoria - Miss Graduate South Africa is encouraging aspiring models who are in higher learning institutions and graduates to enter the pageant.
As part of the prize, the winner will get a bursary worth R60 000 in addition to other benefits.
Founder of the initiative Nonhlanhla Dalasile yesterday said she had come up with a different idea for a beauty pageant, one that looked to make academics fashionable.
“The pageant is there to empower the youth and give them a platform to pursue their dreams. The idea behind Miss Graduate South Africa is to change the whole game by striving for beauty and brains.
“It’s a platform that celebrates aspiring models in tertiary and those in school, that gives young people an opportunity to further their studies as well as launch their dreams.
“We are looking for beauty with brains so that they can have something to hold on to. We are looking to encourage young women to empower themselves more,” said Dalasile.
She said it had become common to find models who do not have qualifications, and this was designed to change all of that by promoting academics within the pageant industry.
The pageant is a six-month programme where the aspiring models will be taught to how to walk, speak and present themselves.
“We are doing this as a way of helping them build their confidence during the journey, where they will be modelling and competing.
“The public has seen how educated beauty queens are when they are participating in big pageants like Miss South Africa, this serves as an example that one can be a queen and an academic at the same time,” she said.
Entries close March 5, and the organisers are in the middle of a recruitment process aiming to get more than 100 contestants.
Aspiring models between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply for the programme, and there are no requirements for career choices, Dalasile said.
She is also calling on the public and potential donors to help with sponsorships.
“I’m approaching learning institutions as this an academic initiative and I am hoping for the best,” she said.
Entrants are required to send a WhatsApp entry to 069 370 0952, with their name and surname, the institution they are studying at, their age and three unedited pictures of themselves.
“They can check the Miss Graduate South Africa social media pages for more information,” she said.