Recently crowned Miss Universe Queen South Africa, Naledi Rakgwale hits the ground running as she sets her goals to continue influencing her community throughout her reign.
“My journey in pageantry started in 2018, immediately after getting my matric results. I didn’t win my first competition but it did pave a great future ahead,” remembers Naledi.
Rakgwale’s extra ordinary charismatic persona showed before she matriculated. A great example of her remarkable abilities was when she started a blog called ‘Own Your Voice’ in 2017 where she would post her English essays. In 2021, she turned the blog into an NPC with the help of her mother. The company focuses on literature and reading.
After a few years of preparation, Naledi won Miss Universal Queen South Africa on August 6, 2022, which she believes is by far her biggest breakthrough in pageantry. When the opportunity came about, she had just handed over her crown to her successor, Miss Township 2022.
Rakgwale was preparing to take a one-year break as she normally does after each season of pageantry, to reflect on the previous year as well as her future goals. However, the universe had other plans for the crown holder.
“When I heard about Miss Universal Queen South Africa, the entry due date was in three weeks and the grand finale was to take place in a weeks’ time after the closing date. I was honestly never ready, at least that is what I believed,” says Rakgwale with her captivating smile.
“During my reign as Miss Universal Queen South Africa, I will continue with my sanitary pad drive, menstrual equity, advocating for period inequality, championing for anti-bullying and campaigning for social development,” says Naledi while admitting that she has gracefully accepted her tittle and responsibilities set before her.
Many opportunities do not reach the township Rakgwale comes from. Lack of information within her community reflects in the action of the youth, which is not always a good sight.
Often children in the township after matriculating either further their studies or sit at home with shattered dreams. Naledi aspires to narrow the gap and is committed to utilize the influence she has gained by introducing entrepreneurship programs and mobilizing different organisations in grooming the youth.
Her journey has not always been easy and she admits that her family has recently gone through a financial crisis and at the same time, her father recently hospitalized. However, Naledi’s family especially her mother has always encouraged her to break boundaries no matter the obstacles.
“I want to obtain my honours in Forensic Science and Technology, thereafter I want to keep going until I earn a Dr Title to my name, in the investigative field,” says the intelligent Queen. She is studying towards the profession because she wants to give back to SA in terms of curbing the high crime rate in the country.
“I want to be part of a team that gets to make decisions on how to improve my country,” she says.
In preparation to represent SA in Nigeria in November 2022, with the desire to secure the Miss Universal Queen Africa title, Rakgwale will soon start campaigning for online voting where voters will be encouraged to vote for her. The online voting will count toward being one of the top finalists in Nigeria. “Currently I’m tasked to carry through my duties as Miss Universal Queen SA while Miss Universal Queen Africa management is expecting me to deliver on all my deliverables in preparation for the Africa crowning”.
“We all have our dreams and at times when we awake, we let our dreams continue to sleep. I encourage you never to stop desiring for a better future or a better outcome in any unforeseen situation. Don’t ever allow your dreams to sleep on you,” Naledi Rakgwale concludes.
By Sandra Lesenyeho