Photo: Provided

Lungile Buhale Photo: Provided

Lungile Buhale, 22, Miss Soweto 2014 is a hardworking and very motivated individual. During her term, the 2nd year BA student hopes to improve how Soweto is perceived by the general public. She also wants to show other young women from one of South Africa’s largest townships that, as clichéd as this sounds, anything is possible if you work hard enough at it.

What inspired your decision to enter Miss Soweto?

It was mainly for two things. The first reason I entered Miss Soweto was because I needed a platform where I can communicate my initiatives and ideas that I want to do for the future, and as well as to put me in career mode for events. It’s something I want to do. So getting exposure as Miss Soweto will allow me to meet the right and relevant people in that industry.

So, are you a “pageant girl” in the traditional sense? Did you participate in pageants when you were younger, which led to you entering Miss Soweto?

This was my first pageant and luckily, I won! I don’t think I’m a pageant girl, I think I have qualities that make up a pageant girl.

Let’s talk for a bit about these qualities of a pageant girl, are you lady-like or a bit on the tomboyish side?

At the moment I am wearing a hoodie, takkies and jeans. That I believe does not make me a lady-lady. I am a lady when I have to be (laughs). I like being casual and calm because that represents who I am.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about sports and female empowerment. Sports allows you to make friends, keeps you healthy but most importantly it keeps you away from the bad stuff. It keeps you physically fit and mentally sharp.

Pageants are often linked to unattainable standards of beauty. With your experience as Miss Soweto, do you believe this is true?

The truth of the matter is that a certain type of beauty is pushed in these pageants but with Miss Soweto there were a lot of gorgeous women. What decided your fate was how well you can sell the brand. I believe that in that way, the pageant opened up to other women.

What township in Soweto are you from?

I am from the beautiful Dube Village. Not many people know about it, but it’s produced legends.

When the time comes for you to hand over your crown, what do you hope to have learnt from your experience as Miss Soweto?

I’m trying to create these initiatives and I’m hoping they work out. Sometimes you come across people who aren’t buying into an idea. That hurts. I’m learning about myself, by the end of this I want to have developed a thicker skin. I want to hand over my crown with pride knowing that I’ve done a lot for my community.I do not want to be remembered as someone that just won the crown, and left.