If you didn’t believe that women can do it all, let Boipelo Mabe’s ‘superpowers’ change your mind.
Boipelo Mabe. The next time you see her, she’ll be Clicks magazine’s covergirl. But there’s more to the 21-year-old Witsie from Alexandra township who is also studying a joint Honours in Politics and Development Studies.
Mabe started doing beauty pageants at the age of six years old, and by the time that she was in grade 10 she was already looking to start working helping others in her community.
This led her into starting her own organisation to empower girls her age – Don’t get Babe’d.
“There was a sense of hopeless,” added Mabe, “Alex had a lot of typical township ills.”
Mabe however couldn’t develop the organisation to what she believes it could have become because her parents thought it would interfere with her school work.
After high school, Boipelo came to Wits to study Politics. When Wits Vuvuzela quizzed her on why she wanted to study politics, “To try and understand the world that I’m trying to influence” she responded.
According to Mabe, being a beauty pageant girl and a model comes with a lot of “stereotypical ideas.”
“I attend a lot of workshops and business seminars,” Mabe said, “and usually I’m mistaken for a hostess until they see that I’m on the program.”
“Sometimes being a woman distracts people from seeing what you can give or produce than just your looks”, she said.
“Sometimes being a woman distracts people from seeing what you can give or produce than Politics and modelling might be an “unusual combination” but for Mabe, it forms part of “challenging the norms of what a beauty Queen or model should be like.”
“Your beauty will not get you far,” Mabe said, “Its not sustainable.”
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Mabe added that “beauty is not a skill, young girls and women need to understand that you need more.”
Mabe’s latest achievement involves winning the ‘Clicks cover girl’ competition where she was selected out of thousands of women across the country.
“Being the cover girl will be a stepping stone on my modelling career,” she said.
The prize for Clicks cover girl included a modelling contract worth R50 000 with the internationally recognised modelling company, Model Management and South Africa’s fashion photographer, Jacques Weyes.
Mabe is former Miss Alex, resident political analyst on News and Views on Soweto TV, a motivational speaker, a member of Black Management Forum, a newsreader for Soweto TV News, a radio personality on Alex FM and a Witsie.