Image credit: Boitumelo Balepile
Boitumelo Trinity Balepile is Miss Teenager South Africa 2020 Finalist. Boitumelo means “happiness” and according to her, she believes that a name has an impact on one’s life; hence, she’s dedicated to bringing happiness to other people’s lives.
According to her, “Life is more appreciated when you give. I’m a young girl who’s full of energy and positivity because I believe that to achieve success in life, one has to acquire a mindset that is full of positive thinking. I am a young girl full of determination and highly-driven to aspire for greater things. Hence, I live by two principles which are to always stay confident and committed in everything I do.”
In this interview with Leading Ladies Africa, Boitumelo shares the inspiration behind becoming a beauty queen, how the Miss Teenage SA platform has empowered her, how she’s learnt to believe in herself and drown out doubts, why she’s dedicated to ending gender-based violence, her fierce passion for girls’ empowerment and education and why she believes that every young girl is their own liberator. Lean in!
Who is Boitumelo Balepile?
Boitumelo Balepile is a South African girl who is a girlchild education advocate and an activist for young girls and women at large.
Tell us more about your sojourn into beauty pageantry (Miss Teenager South Africa) and how you intend to use your position to empowering young girls.
My journey into beauty pageantry(Miss Teenager SA) has been quite a humbling and exciting journey. I say that because it has really helped me to learn about other people and has shown me how important it is for one to follow one’s dream. From that, I intend to empower young girls by highlighting and showing them that it is never too early for one to follow their dreams and passions. Most of all, I want to preach the message that they need to strive for independence.
The inspiration behind becoming a girl child education advocate (what are your roots, what connects your childhood to what you do now? Who are the most important people in your life and how did they impact you?)
The inspiration for becoming a girl child education advocate comes from the understanding that with education, one can open many doors in life. Secondly, the inspiration comes from the drive to show that education is not for the male gender only(as practised in the past) but that the female gender can also attain education and be something in life.
Again, my parents have been the most important and impactful people in my life because they have been encouraging me and teaching me about the importance of education. That is why I now try my best to educate every girl child about how important it is to have an education.
And lastly, the most important thing that has influenced me is growing up in a society where girls are always competing with each other, shaming each other, and by the fact that I was bullied by girls when I first started high school.
Your two favourite principles are ” Always stay confident & Be committed in everything you do.” How have these principles helped you in achieving your dreams and shaping you to become the woman you envision?
Indeed, confidence and commitment govern my life. And in becoming the woman I envision, those two principles have made it easy for me to strive towards achieving my dreams because they have instilled in me a character of focus and disciplined.
Image credit: Boitumelo Balepile
The impact of Miss Teenage SA on your life/dreams.
Miss Teenager SA has positively impacted me. I say that because it has made me realize that I’m close to my dreams and that they are really attainable. It has really revived my hope that I can instil a mindset in young girls, that one can do anything they put their mind into.
Challenges faced in the course of entering the pageant? Was anyone against it? If yes, how were you able to overcome the doubts and go for it?
Well, the challenges are always there. I got discouraged by some of my friends when I wanted to join the pageantry; however, thanks to the support I got from my parents, the journey has been amazing.
And through that, I’ve truly learnt that, in life, some people won’t believe in you. Therefore, it very important that one focuses on their dreams and ignore the noise of negativity. That is how I overcame the doubts.
How do you intend to fight against gender-based violence, child abuse, and encourage girl empowerment and education?
I intend to fight against gender-based violence, child abuse and encourage girl empowerment and education by volunteering for non-profit organizations that deal with such issues. I also want to talk about these issues at schools and also established an NGO – with a mission to work around these key issues. I want to groom young girls to be the best version of themselves and to strive for prosperity.
Image credit: Boitumelo Balepile
Success markers + Outlook (what do you intend to achieve 5 years from now?) Please find attached a sample of an answer to this question.
Five years from now, I want to establish my NGO. I also want to start a makeup brand (Ohboity brand). I want to be recognized for my works and contributions locally and globally.
Advice for younger ladies/teenagers who feel they are too young to achieve phenomenal feats.
No one is too young to achieve phenomenal feats. So, my advice is that they should believe in themselves no matter what. Everyone is capable of doing anything, if only they put their mind into it.
Legacy/ What you would want to be remembered for.
What I would like to be remembered for is the impact I would’ve made – instilling the belief that every female is their own liberator. I want to be remembered as a lady who has made it her responsibility to end gender-based violence, who has inspired women to be the best versions of themselves and has worked to help women attain education for themselves. And most importantly, I want to be remembered as a top model, actress and TV Personality who has used her voice and platform to amplify the message of women and their independence to our screens.
The Leading Ladies Africa weekly interview series focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might feature her.