Local beauties take centre stage at national pageant

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She takes a deep breath. The moment has finally come. She adjusts her dress one last time, then takes to the stage. The bright lights and cheering crowds fading into the distance.

On December 7, Seijal Singh and Sharnè Dheochand competed in the Zee TV Miss India SA pageant at the Durban City Hall. The two local beauties set to dazzle the crowds and judges.

At the pageant, Sharnè clinched the title for Miss India SA Radiant Skin and placing among the top six.

“For me, this is a huge achievement. It makes me more confident in who I am, to be chosen and recognised in Miss India South Africa,” says Sharnè.

Taken back at first when her name was called for the title, Sharnè says she could not believe it at first. However, once it sunk in, she was elated.

Now that the pageant is over, how did Sharnè find the experience at the Miss India South Africa pageant?

“I found it to be a lot of hard work and it required just as much dedication. But at the same time, it felt good to be a part of something so extraordinary and meeting Miss India World is something I will always remember.”

During her time in the pageant, Sharnè says she has learned valuable lessons.

“I learned to support and love each contestant taking part. I also learned about who I was, and I learned leadership skills. You don’t need a sash or a crown to do the right things in life you just need confidence.

Will she enter the pageant again?

“Absolutely, because pageantry is a doorway for those who want to be on stage. It creates a lot of opportunities I am passionate about; like acting and modelling. It also involves you with your community and being involved in all different organisations. It builds self-confidence and you learn so much about yourself,” she says.

At the pageant, Seijal clinched the title of Miss Sparkling Eyes. “When my name was called, I did pause for a second, as it didn’t register immediately. I honestly was not expecting to get it again.”

Seijal won the same title during the regional pageant in Newcastle, earlier this year.

Securing the title of Miss Sparkling Eyes, how did Seijal find the experience in the Miss India SA pageant?

“It has been an honour to be a part of this pageant, as it was also dedicated to the late Mr Farook Khan – the founder of these pageants. It was also an honour to be sashed by Miss India Worldwide Tanishq Sharma. It was most definitely an amazing experience especially on such a big platform.”

However, she says it was a slightly tough journey. Especially having to complete her exams for her studies, while needing to prepare for the pageant.

“It was also a little bit of a challenge when it came to wearing heels because it’s not something I’m used to, however, it was worth it.”

One of the best experiences for Seijal, was meeting competitors from Durban and Johannesburg; and being able to make friends with them.

“At one point it didn’t feel like a competition, because we created a bond and there was a lot of support that came with this bond.”

She says she has also learned valuable lessons from the event. “I’ve learned you should always be yourself no matter what. It was truly a great experience to get out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t let that change who I am.”

Congratulations to both Seijal and Sharnè for clinching their respective titles.

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