• July 5th, 2020

Be supportive and empathic… not too quick to break women down- Swartbooi

 Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK- “We need to go through a lot of mental, emotional and physical preparation to be able to shine on television. I personally would not be able to cope throughout my journey without the support of my mentor and those close to me. Therefore, I urge the Namibian nation to be more supportive and empathetic and not be too quick to break young women down”.
These are the words of Johanna Swartbooi, the golden girl from Vaalgras who walked away as the second princess at the Miss Namibia 2019 pageant held last weekend.  
“I did not expect to make it as far as I did at first because I did not consider myself a pageant girl. But with the help of my mentor and my loved ones, I was able to believe in myself more and see myself as worthy of the title,” said Swartbooi. 
The 21-year-old, Business and Marketing student at the Southern Business School is not a stranger to pageants. “In 2016, I was the 1st Princess of UNAM’s Mr/Miss Freshman,” she said. 
One of the reasons she takes part in such contests is to challenge herself by doing something out of her comfort zone that will also help her grow and mature as a young woman. 
Swartbooi believes beauty pageants are monumental in the growth of young women and charity work. “I love the concept of ‘beauty with brains’, this adds value to pageantry and allows us to redefine beauty and move away from the Western stereotypical definition of beauty. Young girls should be encouraged to embrace their own unique beauty and not try to fit,” she told Entertainment Now!
This is definitely the highlight of her year. “I am extremely happy and honoured to be a part of the top three. I have proven to myself that I can be a pageant girl and I have made my family, friends and my community proud,” she said. 
For Swartbooi, taking part in the Miss Namibia beauty pageant was more than gaining self-growth and building a sisterhood. “I felt obligated to represent the south and to inspire the young girls and boys from the Nama community to believe that they can do anything and follow their dreams. I want to restore the pride in my people, not to promote or encourage tribalism but to build my community and take more development to the south,” she indicated. 
Swartbooi looks up to her grandfather, Willem Konjore  who is a politician  as her role model because he is a family man. “He is a provider, a leader and a strong believer in God. He inspires me to make use of my God-given gifts and talents to help others,” she said.
Hence, she would like to host at least two successful workshops in the south this year that will focus on encouraging and helping talented young people to add value to their art. “I want to share the importance of arts and entertainment and advocate for growthof the  arts and entertainment in Namibia,” said the enthusiastic Swarbooi. 
Entertainment Now! could not help but wonder what her most favourite prize from the pageant was. “Of all of the incredible prizes I am taking home, I am more excited about the money. I want to invest in my jewellery business and cannot wait to buy my iPhone 7Plus. I’m also excited about the weekend at any NWR Resort because I need the well-deserved vacation in our beautiful country,” she said with joy.

Staff Reporter
2019-07-12 11:11:16 | 11 months ago

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