Miss Mamelodi Sundowns Pearl Ntshehi on her journey: ‘I wanted to be the beacon of hope in my township’
Her township was called “Mexico”, when she was still in school, because of how dangerous it was. “Mamelodi was so notorious that it was common for people to predict how a young person’s life would go, and it was never positive,” Pearl tells us.
So, from a very young age, she decided that she would not conform to the norm. “I wanted to be the beacon of hope for young people, especially those who come after me. Someone needed to step up and show them that there’s so much more to life, we are allowed to dream big and get up to go make those dreams come true, it’s possible for us too.”
Raised by her mother and grandmother, Pearl always felt her dreams were supported and she could achieve anything because her family has her back. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a pop star and never once did my family make me feel like that was ridiculous. I just discovered that I actually can’t sing,” she laughs.
She then went on to become a BCom law graduate and is currently studying towards an LLB. “I knew that education was going to play a huge role in achieving my goals, so I did my research and chose the law side of things.”
Apart from studying, Pearl also has a 9-5 at a law institute, is a mentor and is also in the running to becoming Miss Mamelodi Sundowns nationally. She currently holds the title at a provincial level.
“As soon as a got my foot in the world of pageants I realised there’s so much more to them than what people think – even some beauty queens.”
Last year, Pearl was crowned Miss Africa and says the philanthropy work she did through the pageant ignited something greater in her. “Pageants are a great platform to help so much, to help as many people as possible, and I’m passionate about young people like myself – we have so much potential, I want to help people realise it and put it in action.”
Pearl is also a devout Christian and believes her faith not only grounds her, but it also opens doors for her. “For me, having a relationship with God is a top priority. That’s why I pray and do my devotion every morning before starting my day.”
Her message to young people? “Be the change you want to see in your communities. Don’t be afraid to be different, step out of the norm, don’t conform, and you’ll see how far you go.”