Vodacom Durban July Media Release

 No: VDJ1823

2 July 2018

Embargo : None

 Written by : Dave Macleod

Miss Deaf SA keen to make a statement at Vodacom Durban July

Durban -
Beauty queens, past and present, will be in abundance at the Vodacom Durban July, but one of them is eager to use the occasion to make a statement.

Miss Deaf SA Chantelle Pretorius wants to use her position to inspire any South African facing a challenging disability to follow her motto and 'embrace life'.

The Eastern Cape beauty has dealt with challenges systematically through her school years at Hangklip High school and then completing her teaching degree at the University of the Free State.

"I want to motivate and build other people up, especially those with disabilities and people that get bullied in any way," she said. "I want to encourage people to embrace their own uniqueness."

"My disability has never stopped me. I want to encourage people to have the right approach to life.

"With my disability I could easily have sat in my little corner feeling sorry for myself." she added. "The only thing you can change is your own behaviour which enables you to make lifestyle changes and form new horizons.

"Just dare to begin. Look beyond where you are today – see what you might become tomorrow," she said enthusiastically.

She will be wearing a gown designed by Franscois Britton, who will accompany her on the big day at Greyville Racecourse.

Pretorius was diagnosed with meningitis at the age of seven months and was given a 5% chance of survival. At eleven months the meningitis returned, leaving her completely deaf. "I started wearing hearing aids and attended the Carl du Toit Centre for Hearing Impaired Children at the Tygerberg hospital in the Western Cape," said Pretorius.

"A cochlear implant at the age of four opened the world of sound and speech to me," says Pretorius. "Communication became much easier for me and I started my school career in Elliot, a small little town in the Eastern Cape until grade six when I went to Hangklip High school in Queenstown where I matriculated in 2011.

"Despite many challenges and being bullied for my 'disability' I represented my school’s first team in athletics, tennis, squash and hockey.

"In 2012 I become a Kovsie and represented the University’s first women's football team from 2013 to 2015. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in education in 2015. At the moment I am a foundation phase teacher at Barkly-East primary school," she explains.

Pretorius will be representing South Africa at the Miss Deaf World 2018 pageant in Prague in the Czech Republic in September.

"My goal is to bring back another World crown," she said. "South Africa has the most beautiful, educated and unapologetic woman in the Miss and Mrs South African pageants platforms. If we can make a difference in someone's life, even if that person is a stranger, with a smile, a hug or even some words of encouragement, then a difference for good has been made at that moment," she said.

The 2018 Vodacom Durban July takes place at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday 7 July. More information can be found at www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za 

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Vodacom Durban July logo - landscape  

Vodacom Durban July logo - landscape  

Miss Deaf SA Chantelle Pretorius will be using the Vodacom Durban July to encourage any person facing a disability to live their life to the full.

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Miss Deaf SA Chantelle Pretorius will be wearing this grown by Franscois Britton to the Vodacom Durban July on Saturday 7 July.

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The theme "It Is Time" for the 2018 Vodacom Durban July - JPeg

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The theme "It Is Time" for the 2018 Vodacom Durban July - PDF

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