Beauty queens aim to uplift others

Two local beauty queens talk about their missions to assist the youth and needy community members.

11 August 2019 | People

Dominique Bouwer; Miss Teen Walvis Bay; “There is a lot of sadness and uncertainty that place immense pressure on teens, especially in high school.”

Walvis Bay • Leandrea Louw



The reigning Miss Teen Walvis Bay, Dominique Bouwer, and the first ever Miss Pre-Teen Walvis Bay, Malinda Bam, discussed their plans with us. Both are learners at Walvis Bay Private High School.

Bouwer started modelling at the age of 9 in Windhoek, at ACE Models, and stopped when she moved to Walvis Bay. “My mother initially decided to let me join ACE Models to help boost my self-confidence, my self-esteem and to help me be more social. I was a very shy girl who preferred to stay at home.”

She saw the Miss Teen pageant as the perfect opportunity via which to help others in the harbour town. “I now have a platform to focus on the teens of Walvis Bay. The lesson I took from the competition is that it only takes a week to form life-long bonds and friendships. My fellow participants in Miss Teen made this journey worthwhile. We truly grew together, learnt together, experienced the highs and lows together, and supported each other 110%. I would not have been able to do this without them and I am extremely grateful toward them for their immense support,” she says.



Planning ahead

She has numerous plans to help uplift the youth of Walvis Bay as the reigning Miss Teen Walvis Bay.

“There is a lot of sadness and uncertainty that place immense pressure on teens, especially in high school. I would really love to be a speaker at as many platforms at possible to tell teens that they don't have to allow bullying and doubt to break their hearts and steal focus from their schoolwork. All of us are lost in the choices the future has to offer. I really just want to help them so that this does not escalate in depression or them doubting themselves.”

With the huge increase in crime over the years, Bouwer feels strongly that the youth as well as younger children need to be taught how to defend themselves.

“It is critical that you have the assurance that you can protect yourself. Not all of us are privileged enough to attend classes that teach you this. I am planning to start a project with kickboxing clubs where we organise a free day of training self-defence which will then be open to the general public. Crime won't decrease overnight, but I can decide to take charge and help those who live their lives daily under dangerous circumstances, to help protect themselves. To know that I helped someone be safe, is the greatest gift I can ever try to give.”



Great responsibility

Bouwer says that she knew from the onset there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the title.

“To have a well-balanced time schedule and to stick to it will see me having no problems balancing my responsibility as Miss Teen Walvis Bay as well as school and my other extra-mural activities. Being a perfectionist will definitely be of benefit and I will never take my title or the expectations everyone has of me for granted.”

Her message is that abuse, bullying and doubt should not be allowed to be anybody's downfall.

“So many people are trapped in their circumstances and do not see a way out. As Miss Teen I really want to do everything in my power to help those who feel their voices have been taken away. I want to help everyone remember that it is not about the scars left behind by your circumstances but how you conquer it. I want my community to remember that you don't have to change yourself to fit the opinion of someone else or to be a wall flower because you are shy or ashamed someone will judge you. Our differences are what make us unique."

She describes herself as a hopeless romantic, when it comes to books and movies.

“Anything that gives me butterflies, I read. I love baking and I do it regularly over weekends and for family gatherings. I have baked cupcakes for both my younger sisters' birthdays and I always make sure there is enough cookies and tarts in the house during the December holiday, otherwise my sweet tooth won't bear it."

Her favourite book is The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and her favourite movie is Dear John, penned by the same author. Her favourite series is 13 Reasons Why, because it shows the immense impact that bullying can have on a victim, their parents and everyone they come in contact with. It gives a central message that the pandemic outbreak of bullying needs to stop.

Interestingly, Bouwer assisted the My Zone team earlier the day of the pageant with a Momentum Rugby game live broadcast. She handled the interviews and is a natural in front of the camera.



Talking with Malinda

Miss Pre-Teen Walvis Bay, Malinda Bam, said that she competed in the competition to improve her self-confidence, make new friends and find a way to help the community.

“I am hoping to work alongside CODAC and other organisations to raise awareness of today's problems faced by the youth. The biggest challenge faced by the youth in Walvis Bay is poverty, and I am hoping to help by hosting fundraisers to support feeding projects and collecting clothes to give to the vulnerable.”

Malinda­ shares Dominique's sentiments when it comes to balancing her school work and her duties as Miss Pre-Teen.

“Time management plays a great role in balancing day-to-day activities, and I believe by following my schedule I will be able to manage both school and my role as Miss Pre-Teen together. Working as a community together improves the chances of overcoming any situation by finding a possible solution. We are stronger together than we are apart, and together we can grow an even more beautiful and caring community.”

Malinda plays hockey and could easily spend a whole day on the field. “I often take part in cultural activities like drama, dancing and my favourite of all, photography.”

She recently starred in the musical The Journey, hosted by Walvis Bay Private High School. “In my free time I go quad-biking with my brother and spend a lot of time with my friends and family. I also enjoy making music, playing guitar and the piano.”

These girls certainly have their work cut out for them. Good luck!

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