Zinhle Khambule, the newly-crowned Miss Remarkable Teen South Africa for 2021, has set in motion her campaign to defend the rights of teenage girls and abused women.
The “Queen of Teens’ Rights” from Phalaborwa in Limpopo was given a standing ovation at a glittering ceremony held in Mpumalanga on Saturday.
The 16-year-old Zinhle told Scrolla.Africa that even though the beauty pageant was a difficult contest, she feels she deserved the crown.
“I have worked very hard for this position. I hope it heightens my profile and enables me to assist other girls my age,” she said.
The Miss Remarkable Teen South Africa 2021 beauty pageant provides a platform for the country’s teenagers to speak about the subjects they are passionate about.
Zinhle said she hopes her crown will elevate her to become the voice of the voiceless teenagers.
Her own province has recently experienced a wave of child murders in which children were killed by people they knew.
The grade 11 learner at Relebogile secondary school in Namakgale said she wants to be an ambassador of girls’ rights and speak with authority on issues affecting women, especially vulnerable ones.
“I am going to initiate various dialogues in which young girls will deliberate on issues affecting them on a daily basis,” she said.
Zinhle said that she wants to use her platform to encourage other young women to speak out on under-discussed issues which impact their lives.
“It is saddening to hear stories of young girls whose lives are cut short before they could realise their dreams. There is a need for platforms to address these issues and they need to be addressed by us teenagers,” she said.