Beauty has no limits
Amber Mahlaula is no stranger to the SOG blog. Two years ago, we covered her life journey and how she overcame various difficulties as someone with osteogenesis imperfecta. You can check out the story here (Special Kind of Hero). Amber, a 29-year-old beautiful woman, was born and raised in Malamulele, South Africa. She has, over the years, resisted allowing her condition to define who she is, continuing to live her life just like any other person who is totally physically capable, and had experienced many obstacles relating to her physicality, but it looks like all of that just served as motivation to advance against all odds.
Today, she added Miss Congeniality Top 6 to her resume, and the SOG family has never been more thrilled to see her greatness and all of her successes. Let’s hear more about her experiences below.
Let’s get going!
Tell us a little bit about your decision to compete in the pageant as a person with a disability.
I wanted to demonstrate to other disabled persons that they are not constrained in any way by their disability. That they should get up and chase what they believe in. I also wanted to be a representative and show the world that even we, people with disabilities, can make it in the pageant industry. The likes of Miss WheelchairSA also inspire me.
What has been the most memorable part of the process in your preparation for the pageant?
It was when other finalists and I were doing rehearsals at night for the pageant. We developed a very strong sisterhood, and it was incredibly interesting. We snapped as many photos as we possibly could.
What, in the pageantry community, do you think is the largest misperception regarding persons with disabilities?
Society has a tendency to believe that contestants with disabilities enter pageants to seek sympathy. However, I think the main encouragement is to show that having a disability does not preclude you from achieving your goals as long as you put your heart and soul into them.
What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?
Listening to other people’s opinions about my wanting to enter the pageant industry. The comments were unfavorable. I had to block out the noise and trust my instincts, which never let me down. I am grateful that I never conformed to their opinions.
Pageants are genuinely fascinating, and I had the chance to rediscover who I was while also learning a lot from other contestants.Amber
What kind of challenges did you face in your journey?
I faced a lot of challenges. At first, I struggled with self-confidence, low self-esteem, and handling criticism. Answering questions the night before the pageant was equally nerve-wracking. But I managed to pull through and made it to top 6.
What guidance would you offer to a person with a disability who wishes to compete in pageants?
Don’t heed other people’s opinions and pursue your dreams. Whether you do well or poorly, people will always talk. Pageants are genuinely fascinating, and I had the chance to rediscover who I was while also learning a lot from other contestants.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5–10 years?
I see myself competing in and winning Miss Wheelchair South Africa. Yeyyy!! The course of the universe will unfold.
How would you want to be remembered when you depart here on earth?
As someone who didn’t despise herself but who was unafraid to pursue her aspirations and remained steadfast in the face of adversity. Someone who entered a beauty pageant without hesitation, despite the stigma surrounding disabled people.
She was in the top six and broke the status quo when it came to misconceptions about persons with disabilities. The journey was not easy, but it was worth it. We wish her well as she competes in bigger pageants. May her dream as Miss Wheelchair SA come true. The journey still continues.
Do leave a beautiful message for Amber in the comments section. What have you learned from her? And do not forget to check out some of my previous posts below.
From my heart to yours
This was A BEAUTIFUL story. Big ups to you Amber for your courageous spirit. We love to see it.