Miss Teen Commonwealth 2018 Tlou Dinyake (16), a resident of Polokwane, is a model with a purpose who is determined not to let anything stand in the way of attaining her goals.
She is passionate about health and fitness as well as wanting to help children less fortunate than her and prior to winning this beauty title, she started a sports programme involving the children at Samaritan Children’s Home. Every Saturday she takes them out to the municipal netball court to do various sports including netball, basketball, aerobics and fitness exercises. She says she firmly believes that she can help these children to live healthy lives, which will help them to succeed in their goals.
The owner of Samaritan Children’s Home, Sara Galane was so impressed with her dedication that she decided to make Tlou the ambassador of the children’s home. In this role, Tlou often represents the children’s home at various functions and she works hard to create awareness about the home.
“Winning Miss Teen Commonwealth came at just the right time, because I am trying to raise money to build a larger children’s home and this will be an excellent platform for me to do so. At the moment the children’s home houses some 46 children but would like to be able to accommodate 100,” she explains.
This year she also wants to work with various unions for the disabled especially those whose members are deaf. “It is very important that people should be able to communicate with the deaf freely. I would like to help teach people how to do this.” She firmly believes that people have been put on earth to make a difference in whatever way they can.
She started modelling late in 2015 when Mogoshadi Maila, a local woman who she met in a taxi, took her under her wing and started teaching her modeling. In 2016 she entered the Miss Limpopo Teen pageant and was one of the top five finalists. She also won the public choice award.
Shortly thereafter she signed up with ReRite Models and says she has loved modelling for as long as she can remember.
Tlou is a Grade 12 learner at Capricorn High School and it is no surprise that life sciences is her favourite subject. When she is finished with school she would like her studies to be aligned with the health sector. “I haven’t decided the exact direction of my studies yet, but some possibilities are dermatology, pediatrics or dentistry.”
Everything she does she does out of love and modelling is one of her loves. “I would like to be Miss Universe one day,” she adds. In her limited spare time she loves to read and dance.
Her role model is Basetsana Kumalo, who was Miss South Africa 1994 and has since become a television personality, businesswoman and philanthropist. “She is a powerful, amazing lady who has built her brand from nothing. I would love to build an empire like she has.”
Her message to the youth is not to leave South Africa for greener pastures but to rather rise to the occasion and take responsibility for their country. “Believe in yourself, know yourself and accept yourself and nothing can stand in your way.”
Her favourite meal is ribs and chips, she loves watching bibliographies and is an avid reader of fiction. An interesting fact no one knows about her is that she absolutely loves watching the Olympic Games. “I watch everything that is broadcast and I dream of going to watch the Olympic Games live one day.”
“The best advice I ever received was from my brother, Mpho Sedibana, who told me that as long as a person has a passion for what they want to do in a specific industry, there will always be place for that person. I took his words to heart and am more determined than ever to make it in the modelling industry even if I am considered a bit short at 1,58 metres.”
Since winning her big title everyone she knows is extremely proud of her. “But I want them to treat me the same as they always have, which will help me stay humble. Things can come and go in my life but the people in my life must remain constant.”
Anyone who would like to know more about her projects or assist her in anyway can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story and photo: KAREN VENTER