In 2012 Xola Bokoloshe was the runner-up in the Indoni Cultural Miss South Africa pageant, a pageant that celebrates cultural, as opposed to physical beauty.
The pageant is part of a larger cultural development programme run by Indoni SA, a non-profit organisation whose main focus is developing South African youth through pride in their cultural identity.
Originally from the rural village of Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, Xola was selected to attend Indoni’s annual cultural schools camp where she showed her dedication of embracing her cultural heritage and using it to bring about positive change among the youth. She did this by focusing on teenage pregnancy, one of the biggest problems faced by teens today, especially in South Africa.
Young people at the cultural camp learn different skills such as bead work and traditional hair dressing that can be used to help them earn money after they leave school, especially when they go study further.
Xola said that there are many youngsters who turn to drugs and crime after they leave school, because they don’t have money to further their studies, and to this end Indoni also offers bursaries to prospective students, as well as as- sistance finding jobs after they complete their studies.
Having been the recipient on one such bursary, Xola completed her studies in Local Government Finance and is currently working a Senior State Account- ant in the office of the Minister of Police. Looking into the future, Xola sees herself working at a well-known accounting firm, as well as helping people in need, even going so far as appearing on TV and radio to create awareness of their plea.
We are quick to want to embrace the popular cultures of Europe and America when our own cultures are rich and diverse, says Xola, her pride in her cultur- al heritage and dedication to promoting cultural identity serving as an inspira- tion to young people of all cultures in South Africa.
Xola Bokoloshe is an example all South Africans can look up to, and truly lives the #SupeLife.