In an achievement never before witnessed in South Africa Lehlogonolo Machaba has become the first transgender woman to compete in a Miss SA beauty pageant.
“Transgender women are almost always ostracised from such opportunities,” said the 24 year old.
Machaba has made it to this year’s top-30 semifinalists in a massive breakthrough for the diversity of this prestigious beauty event.
“This is why I never thought I’d see anyone like myself on such a platform. I believe that being chosen would raise hope of many little girls like myself.”
Machaba from Oskraal, North West holds a diploma in fashion design technology from the Tshwane University of Technology.
Machaba, who is also the founder of the DeMollies fashion brand, said it has always been her dream to represent the LGBTQI+ community at the highest level.
“Through the Miss SA platform, I’d be able to advocate for the LGBTQI+ community and more specifically queer-identifying women. I would use this opportunity to empower every marginalised person and I hope to become a beacon of hope for young girls.”
The South African public has until 21 July to vote for their top 10 contestants on the official Miss SA website.
Image source: @lehlogonolo.machaba