Home News ‘Face of Ritchie’ teen dies after car crash

‘Face of Ritchie’ teen dies after car crash

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The community of Ritchie is mourning the tragic death of 16-year-old Xoliswa Mokwang, the small Northern Cape town’s first ‘Face of Ritchie’ pageant ambassador.

Young Xoliswa Mokwang died after suffering serious injuries in a car accident. Picture: Faiz Mills

THE COMMUNITY of Ritchie is mourning the tragic death of 16-year-old Xoliswa Mokwang, the small Northern Cape town’s first ‘Face of Ritchie’ pageant ambassador.

Xoliswa was involved in a car crash in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape on March 25 and succumbed to her injuries a month later at the Port Elizabeth Hospital on April 26.

Xoliswa, a matric pupil at William Pescod High School in Kimberley, was visiting her father at the time of the accident.

Her passing occurred during her reign as the first queen of the ‘Face of Ritchie’ beauty pageant, a title she had held since her crowning on November 26 last year.

The ‘Face of Ritchie’ initiative was established with the goal of empowering the youth of the town and restoring their hope.

In honour of Xoliswa, the pageant management will host a memorial service at Kingdom Power and Glory House church in Ritchie on Wednesday, May 8, starting at 12 noon. The funeral service will follow on Saturday, May 11.

The founder and director of ‘Face of Ritchie’, Godwin Taweni, explained that the memorial service will provide a platform for friends and fellow models to pay their last respects.

All models are requested to wear their sashes and crowns.

Taweni explained that the initiative’s aim is to motivate the youth not to give up on their dreams just because they come from a “small and forgotten” town like Ritchie.

He pointed out that many young people in Ritchie have lost hope and no longer seem interested in trying new things.

Taweni highlighted the harsh reality that many youngsters in Ritchie, after completing matric, tend to end up hanging around on street corners.

He noted that many end up “doing nothing with their lives” due to the lack of opportunities available to them.

Speaking about Wednesday’s memorial service, Taweni said that a special invitation had been extended to Rietvale Secondary School, where Xoliswa’s local peers attended.

“We may have a lot of questions and pain and, yes, we are broken and scattered, but better days will return. God will be our strength and our comforter. We will be with our sister and our daughter again. May God wipe away the tears of the Mokwang family, the Maneli family, the ‘Face of Ritchie’ team, William Pescod High School and the community of Ritchie,” said Taweni.

Taweni added that at the time of her death, Xoliswa was competing for the Miss Teen Universe SA title and was set to be announced as a 2024 contestant at the end of May. She was planning a soup, warm blanket and clothing drive for the needy on June 15 in celebration of Youth Day.

“One of her plans was to also raise funds to buy school shoes, sanitary towels and school uniforms for those who are in need in the community of Ritchie.”

She was also promoting reading and writing among her peers and the younger generation as the face of Taweni’s new book release.

ALSO READ: Pageant to give hope to local youth

Young Xoliswa Mokwang died after suffering serious injuries in a car accident. Picture: Faiz Mills

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