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Best seat in the house: Northern Cape woman crowned as first Miss Wheelchair SA

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TOP 3: Tamelyn, centre, Nokuthula and Maureen

Tamelyn Geneview Bock from the Northern Cape was crowned the first Miss Wheelchair SA, and will represent the country at Miss Wheelchair World in Mexico in October 2022.

THE wheels of fortune are turning for disabled beauties who are eager to participate in pageants that have long excluded them.

The inaugural Miss Wheelchair SA pageant took place on Friday, 3 December, coinciding with International Day of Disabled Persons, at the Artscape Theatre.

Tamelyn Geneview Bock from the Northern Cape was crowned the first Miss Wheelchair SA, and will represent the country at Miss Wheelchair World in Mexico in October 2022.

WINNER: Tamelyn Geneview Bock, 25

Along with the historic title, Tamelyn, 25, also receives a wheelchair from CE Mobility worth R45 000, a medical cushion worth R11,000 from Solutions Medical, a tablet and smartphone from Vodacom and life coaching from Professional & Personal Institute of Excellence.

Shama Nathoo from the Universal Accessibility Hub organised the pageant in collaboration with the Miss Wheelchair South Africa organisation and says: “The crowning of the first Miss Wheelchair South Africa is crafted with the aim to change the perception, narrative, and image of disabled women.

“With the principle of leaving no one behind, it is in line with the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and under the auspices of the Presidential Working Group on Disability, established in February 2019 as part of the government’s commitment to join the disability sector of South Africa to empower persons with disabilities.”

The first runner-up was Nokuthula Yonke, 20, from the Western Cape and 2nd runner-up was Maureen Galaletsang Mokgele, 24, from North West.

Nathoo thanked all the sponsors who came on board in the shared vision that beauty has no limits. “Miss Wheelchair SA was no ordinary event, it represented inclusion of all abilities from the MC’s, performers and judges.”

Nathoo adds: “Tamelyn was in shock when her name was announced but she is ready to take on the journey to remove barriers facing people with disabilities and is overjoyed to be the voice for Miss Wheelchair South Africa.”

An overjoyed Tamelyn says she lives by the quotes “Start unknown and finish unforgettable” by Misty Copeland and “Be the change you want to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.

“I am so grateful to be crowned the first Miss Wheelchair SA,” she added.

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