Megan Morgenrood and Jade Pienaar are no ordinary teenage girls. They are two young women pursuing a dream. One which will set them on a once in a lifetime journey.
The two St Dominics Newcastle pupils recently participated in the Talent Africa Nationals, representing KZN.
Talent Africa was established with core objective of creating the most prestigious national talent competition in South Africa. A talent competition which holds a high standard, ensuring the best of the best prevail.
One of the main aims of the competition is to expose artists to all that the entertainment world has to offer. Both on a national level and an international level.
Furthermore, Talent Africa also shapes young performers, who show talent, into world-class entertainers. This is done through national competitions, workshops, pageants and some of the most prestigious events the world has to offer. This includes the Talent America Competition which takes place in New York, in the United States.
With the competition upholding a high standard of quality, Jade and Megan have proven that they are destined for success.
At the recent nationals, Jade won two silvers for ballet and a gold for contemporary dance. Megan won a silver for ballet dance, a silver for contemporary dance, a bronze for contemporary dance, a silver for modelling high fashion and a gold for photogenic and another gold for modelling casual. Megan also received the special award of the face of Talent Africa KZN.
Through their achievements, Megan and Jade have won a cruise to Spain. This is due to them each winning silver. Their achievement of securing gold for themselves as well, now sees them being part of the South African travelling team to the United States.
How do Jade and Megan feel about their achievements? Also, what led them to participate in Talent Africa?
Megan and Jade explains it all started with an eisteddfod their dance group from En Stage Dance Studio, participated in.
“Our dance group won double gold at the eisteddfod and our teacher asked if we would like to enter Talent Africa.”
Megan entered and made it through to the Regionals. “The Regionals took part in Volksrust, where I made it through to the Nationals.”
The nationals were meant to take place in Johannesburg. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants could not attend the event. However, it was decided to hold the evet virtually and entrants had to submit videos of their performances
The participants were then judged on their performance, character and outfits as if they would normally be judged.
“I was not expecting anything, as I was competing against extremely talented people. But, I was excited when I received my results for modelling and dancing.”
Megan admits she did not watch the announcement of the special award, as she was not expecting to win it.
“A friend of my mother’s was watching, and she called my mom to let us know that I won the special award. I was super excited and actually stated crying,” Megan smiles.
The 16-year-old Megan explains that she will not allow her achievements to go to her head. Instead, she aims to become more active on social media, promoting Talent Africa, and doing charity work.
Excited about the impending trip to the US, Megan says her dreams for the future involves possibly pursuing modelling further.
“Modelling is a completely different world. I love the walking, hearing the cheers and the confidence is gives me. As for dancing, it is a way of expressing myself and emotions without talking. For me, dancing is a form of communication. I would like to do Miss Newcastle and Miss South Africa one day and hopefully go further,” she says.
Jade explains the experience was amazing and a huge learning curve, as the participants were not used to participating virtually in such a prestigious event.
Upon receiving the results, Jade explains she was first left in shock.
“I then felt humbled and awed. I am fortunate to have had the support of my family and friends during the Talent Africa. This is the kind of achievement people always want, and I have such a passion for dance that this is an unbelievable achievement.
As the trip to the US offers her an opportunity to potentially pursue a career in ballet, Jade is ecstatic about the upcoming trip.
“I never thought of myself as a ballerina, although as a little girl, I did dream about becoming one. But as I got older, my dreams changed a bit, but now with Talent Africa, I now have the option to actually pursue ballet,” says the 17-year-old Jade.
With Megan and Jade preparing for their trip to the US, they have done Newcastle proud. Their talent and dedication have now opened the doors to a brand-new world to them.
Well done Jade Pienaar and Megan Morgenrood.