A trial beauty pageant for rural women living with disabilities has proven so successful that the organisers have decided to make it an annual event.
The pageant, which took place in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province recently, attracted a huge crowd as some dozen women living with various disabilities, including paraplegics in wheelchairs, participated.
“More still needs to be done to inspire and empower our disabled people – not only women. We cannot ignore the fact that most disabled people who come from deep rural communities have limited opportunities to make something out of themselves,” Uafhindula Lalamani of Unique Me, a non-profit organisation aimed at uplifting people with physical challenges.
“We need to be creating opportunities for these people in order to empower them to be successful.”
He said that they decided to make the pageant an annual event after realising that more still needs to be done to empower disabled women to be independent and pursue their chosen careers.
“This was just the beginning, but we are saying to people out there ‘Let’s lend a helping hand to develop and empower disabled people as they did not choose to be disabled’,” he said.
In October, Unique Me is set to host an event which will be known as ME DAY where people living with different disabilities will be given an opportunity to showcase their talents through singing, dancing and the reciting of poems.