A handbag for some is something where you put your necessities in, for others it is a lifeline. The current Mrs Middelburg, Jo-landri Coetzee, will be using handbags as part of a project to uplift women.“Die Handsak-project” is about collecting handbags and all cosmetic and sanitary needs for less unfortunate ladies,” the beautiful Jo-landri said.
“I am fully for the empowerment of women, and where does feeling powerful for a woman start? By being clean, smelling nice, feeling fresh, wearing some mascara, instantly on that moment you have got that ‘I have got this’ feeling. Unfortunately, not all ladies can afford it, not even a bar of scented soap. That is where this project comes in; I distribute these old handbags filled with all necessities to the ladies who can not afford it themselves.”
Jo-landri never thought she would strut her way on the catwalk, win this very huge pageant and make a difference in the lives of others.
After matriculating from Hoërskool Reynopark in 2012 she wanted to study Child Psychology.
“So I went and worked at a school in Sasolburg for children with special needs, children coming from juvie, children with life-changing trauma events and more heartbreaking backgrounds.
I became way to emotionally attached to the kids, and decided to break away.”
Jo-landri moved to the Middelburg area and started working at Ruby River Resort.
“Oh, how nice that was meeting al the different people and staying in the Bushveld. I truly loved it there! My plan was only to take a break, and then choose a different career way and to go for it.
But the Bushveld just kept me there. Until I met my husband, Alwyn. Before I knew it, I’m moved and settled in Middelburg, not regretting it one day.”
She stopped with the pageantry when she got pregnant with their oldest daughter Mia-Nette, and decided to start again after their youngest Karli-Me turned 10 months.
Jo-landri described her journey to Mrs Middelburg as follows, “Every step was worth it, from the nervous moments after putting my entry in the box, straight through to receiving the crown.”
Wearing a crown is hard work. Jo-landri had castings, charity duties, she had to sell Protea trees, collect donations, host a table at the Teddy Bear Tea Party, and attend workshops.
During 2020 she will be involved in various charity events like CANSA Shavathon, Relay for Life, Wags 4 Charity, CANSA Car Sit in, and the 2020 Teddy Bear Tea Party.
Apart from that, there’s also all the awareness for all the international days. “I bet you don’t know about half of them, follow my Facebook page to be kept up to date with them Mrs Middleburg 2019 / Jo-landri Coetzee.”
We asked Jo-landri how Christmas is celebrated in the Coetzee house
“We spend Christmas traditionally. A big table set for the whole family, everybody eats together. Oupa gets to hand out the gifts and one of the little ones are oupa’s little helper. Christmas time is family time, I also go the extra mile for that.”
And on the menu?
“Definitely Gammon will be on the menu for the Christmas dinner, drizzled with mustard and honey glaze served with courgettes, potatoes and roasted veggies!” For desert, Jo-landri opts for ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauce or Cremora Tart for dessert.
Gift or gift card?
“I prefer thinking of gifts, they are better than gift vouchers. It adds value to the gift, knowing someone saw that and thought of you.”
Do you believe in Santa?
“I do know the truth about Santa, but I also do believe that all kiddies must believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, it is simply part of childhood. I believe in Santa whenever my kids are around.”.