24 Years Old
Math and Science, Car Racing (Formula1), Python Coding, Yoga, Music, Motivational Speaking, Family Time, Giving back.
Fights, Women and Children Abuse, World Hunger and Poverty.
I am a young woman, born and bred in a Township called Kagiso. Stay here with my mother, sister and baby-niece. A true believer in God and his Word. I am hardworking, driven, ambitious and a risk taker. When I put my mind and energy into something, I do it exceptionally well. I am down-to-earth, respectful and humble. I am a Biomedical Sciences Student; I work and do pageantry.
An experience that almost destroyed me was having to leave school (Varsity) and not being able to go back for three consecutive years due to financial constraints and personal family issues.
The experience truly shattered me. Imagine having so much intellectual gift and potential, but still feel like a total loser. The experience made me look at life in a different aspect. I was reminded that God is still the driver of my life and without him, I am nothing, really. It taught me that selflessness is another duty for us, as humans on earth. That we ought to think about others and give back to the less fortunate. Hence God put us with other people, a community.
The experience has contributed greatly to the woman I am today and becoming. I have learnt to embrace every aspect of my life, whether good or bad. I have embraced all my failures, disappointments and even the people that walked out of my life during the hard times. There is no better lesson in life than experiencing a downward moment. As the saying goes, “The sword has to go through fire for it to be sharp and shiny”. The experience was preparing me for everything and anything that comes my way.
I would advise the person to think of the experience as just a phase in life. Phases have beginnings and endings and thus it will end at some point. The difference with this life-lesson phase is that you don’t wait and watch it tear you down. You continue fighting, pushing through the pain, taking action, meditating/praying on what you want, speaking it in existence and then take a step back to allow God and the universe to work. Also never compare yourself to other people. Everyone has his and her own purpose and destiny in life. They are all different and happen in different times, that’s the beauty of life.
Woman Empowerment to me firstly means that we should revise and look back at all the women in the past that have made it possible for us to be where we are today. We should be able to celebrate them and continue teaching both young girls and boys about such heroines and events in history. It means women should be allowed and supported in choosing their paths in life. That a woman can choose to become an intellect or academia and pursue the corporate, working lifestyle without being discriminated against as being too emotional for the workplace. That a woman can choose to drive trucks and lift heavy equipment without being discriminated against as being too weak. That a woman can also be a stay-at-home, take care of the house and raise her children without being discriminated against as belonging only there. In the great words of Alice Walker when she said, “She must be her own model, as well as the artist attending, creating, learning from, realizing the model, which is to say… Herself”
I have always loved pageantry from an early age, but because of the stereotypic labelling of how a model should look and act, I was unable to be a part of it. I grew up having more flesh as compared to other girls and that was a no-no in the pageant world back then. This ultimately made me observe myself not being beautiful and attractive as any woman is. With time and learning from other great pageant women, I learnt to rather work on having a great body for myself and no one else. I started eating balanced meals and doing yoga. I then joined fashion shows from 2017 and only started pageantry in 2018. My first pageantry the same year, I lost and I like to think of it as a warm-up. My second pageant was Mr and Miss Kagiso in 2018, of which I won the Queen Title for 2019. My second pageant was Miss Gauteng Exclusive in 2019, of which I won 2nd Princess for 2020.
I used to watch pageant shows on TV and especially Miss South Africa. One particular person that caught my eye, apart from Basetsana Khumalo, was Rolene Strauss. A then medical student, Miss South Africa 2014 and Miss World 2014. I realized that the right pageantry was not only about the outside beauty but the beauty of the mind and heart also. It’s about making a difference and contribution to your community. Be able to lead, motivate, represent and give as much as I can.
My achievements include passing my matric with an A- average. Being part of the team that performed 2 Major and Minor successful Surgeries at Tshepo-Themba Clinic during my Job Shadowing. Winning Miss Kagiso 2019. Hosting the first and successful business seminar in Kagiso, ‘Kagiso Business Seminar’. Winning and being part of the top three Miss Gauteng Exclusive Ambassadors. And recently being awarded with the Mogale City 2021 Ambassador Award.
With everything considered, COVID-19 and lockdown has created a new-normal for us. Nonetheless, I will be continuing with the 2nd Annual Kagiso Business, of which will be interesting as I will be bringing in a venture where young people can make money and earn a living. I will be engaging more in the Medical and Science World (Doctors without Borders), of giving back to the community during this time of COVID. Continue with my underground community work and donations. Will be introducing a surprise project for my community that will benefit and encourage young people to venture into Coding/ Programming.
I want to leave a legacy where everyone, especially in my community, knows that I did my best to bring about good change in people’s lives. I want to leave community houses for the homeless, food for the hungry, knowledge for the thirsty and resources for the hard workers. I want to leave generational wealth that will sustain all of this and beyond, even when I am gone.
FB – Mami Makokoe
Insta – makokoe_mami
Twitter – makokoe_mami
PICTURES: Pic 1 – Fashion Kapitol Photography
Pic 2 – Obakeng Tsime (OT) Photography