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A trio of beauty

They’re vying for the most coveted title in the country. Miss SA 2020. But don’t for one minute think these beauties are just about having a pretty face. All very successful in their different lines of work, they deserve every bit of their success. We caught up with full-time international model Chantelle Pretorius, food scientist and social entrepreneur Lebogang Mahlangu and public relations officer and business owner Natasha Joubert.

 

The jet-setter

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As clichéd as this might sound, there’s more to Chantelle Pretorius than meets the eye. She’s got a gorgeous smile and legs that go on for ever, yet Chantelle’s magic lies more in her radiant personality.

With her feet firmly planted on the ground, it is easy to see why she’s such a successful full-time model overseas. Chantelle has modelled for the brand ad campaigns of Kerastase Paris, Calvin Klein Jeans and Underwear, and Michelle Belau’s pret-a-porter collection. She’s also completed editorials for Woman & Home and was the cover model of La Perfumeria de Mercadona magazine. Iconic magazine Vogue Spain also hand-picked Chantelle for a special editorial and video. Now if that’s not impressive, we don’t know what is!

She spends roughly nine months a year in Europe and has been fortunate to see the world, but admits there is indeed, no place like home.

‘I’ve been to Portugal quite a few times and it never disappoints. Beautiful beaches, food, wine farms and the most picturesque towns make it one of my favourite countries. However, I’ve yet to find a place in the world that can compare to the vibe of a braai on a summer’s day. Biltong, a decent steak and home-made rusks are just a few of the food spoils I miss the most when travelling.

‘Believe it or not, South Africa is also by far the most affordable country I’ve lived in. No matter how much time I spend in Europe, paying R80 for a cup of coffee still doesn’t feel right!’

But Chantelle is not just all beauty and knowing how to pose in front of a camera. She’s working on her BComm Business Management degree and has completed a diploma in nutrition, the latter being something she feels quite strongly about.

‘The word diet has never been in my vocabulary; instead we were brought up to make healthy food choices. In future, I’d love to guide women on how to be healthy without feeling deprived and hungry all the time. You need to maintain a balance. There’s always a place for a small piece of cheesecake or ice cream!

While Chantelle’s overseas modelling career is currently on hold, she’s enjoying spending much-needed time with her family. For her, lockdown was the perfect opportunity to take some time out.

‘For the first time in two years our whole family was together. We got through lockdown by having endless cappuccinos on our porch, soaking up the sun and discovering the joy of shelling and eating raw peanuts we found on one of our Level 5 Dis-Chem trips. My time at home also motivated me to pursue my passion for nutrition, and I took the opportunity to start a small business that involves cooking healthy, home-made dinners for friends and family.’

In short, Chantelle’s just as comfortable to be in the kitchen as she is jetting off to a new destination, exploring tourist attractions on her own and modelling for big names.

Be sure to keep an eye out for this blue-eyed beauty … she’s going places!

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram: Chantelle Pretorius

The mover & shaker

The first thing you notice about Lebogang Mahlangu is not just her obvious beauty, but her charismatic persona and absolute zest for life.

A social entrepreneur, Lebogang is always on the lookout for ways to create self-sustaining solutions for the community. One of her brilliant ideas was to start a community bakery in Soshanguve, which she opened in 2019 – a year before graduating as a food scientist.

‘Keeping my community’s financial challenges in mind, my aim for the bakery was to sell affordable bread and baked goods, and at the same time provide employment for myself should I not get a job after my studies, and to help the unemployed people within my community.’

But, nowadays this brainy beauty doesn’t have much time to put on her apron and bake bread. She works as a new product development technologist for a large multinational company, living out her passion to create healthy and affordable food for people across Africa.

As if Lebogang doesn’t already have enough on her plate, she’s currently working on building a chain of gyms in townships.

‘I’ve found that young people are becoming more aware of the importance of taking care of their physical health, but don’t always have access to a gym. Creating an accessible space will prompt them to take their health, diet, and fitness seriously.’

A health and fitness fanatic herself, you might not be surprised to learn that Lebogang was once an aspiring professional soccer player who played right wing and attacking midfield!

‘Soccer played a huge part in building the person I am today. I’m proud to say that I’ve represented the Gauteng provincial team and went to a sports school in hopes of playing for Banyana Banyana! But sometimes life happens and not everything always goes the way we plan.

‘I love the feeling of adrenalin and adventure so I get my fitness kick by exploring new hiking routes, running and teaching myself new soccer tricks.’

Spending time with her family tops her to-do list any day, yet while many people had the opportunity to do so during lockdown, Lebogang was in the laboratory every day.

‘There was no time to whip up the ever-popular banana bread so many people baked … Covid-19 had a significant impact on the industry I work in. It brought added complexity that my team and I have been working tirelessly to navigate, so I’ve not been bored or understimulated during lockdown.’

Described as compassionate, the purposeful and ambitious Lebogang should not be underestimated. She’s in it to win it … ticking off her life goals one by one.

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram: Lebogang Mahlangu.

 

The sweetheart

She has that fresh-faced beauty, girl-next-door vibe going for her. A bit of a tomboy at heart, there’s nothing Natasha Joubert loves more than feeling comfy in baggy clothes, without make-up and embracing her naturally curly hair.

Yet, when she needs to step up, she takes it to another level … rocking red lips and moving oh-so-gracefully in a pair of killer heels.

She’s not only a public relations officer at RFJ Attorneys, but also the founder and owner of Natalia Jefferys Design and Fashion.

‘Because it was too expensive for my mother to buy a new dress every time I entered a pageant she took on the challenge of designing and making the dresses herself. As I got older, I wanted to have a say in what I wore, so I helped her design them.

‘Working with the fabrics sparked my interest and I decided to take design as a subject in high school. Six months after finishing school I started Natalia Jefferys, designing and making dresses. We make anything from cocktail dresses to elegant day wear; however, our main focus is matric farewell dresses, wedding gowns and evening wear.’

Seeing some of her incredible creations it’s almost impossible to think she has no formal training. Being such a determined go-getter, Natasha plans to study fashion within the next year or two, dreaming of being the designer for the final evening of the Miss SA pageant.

‘Your dreams are valid. Whatever you set your mind to, know that it’s possible to achieve that dream. Through consistency and hard work anything is possible.’

Thriving in a natural environment, Natasha is always game for hiking, camping or playing action hockey. As she puts it, ‘I’m a sport for everything, even if it’s a so-called men’s sport. Growing up, I much preferred playing outside with the boys – I was the only girl in the karate class!’

With a dazzling smile and an easy-to-get-along-with personality, Natasha is usually the one who breaks the tension with her very infectious and expressive laugh.

‘I love laughing and I do whatever I can to get my fair share every single day. Laughter might be the only contagious thing you actually want to catch. So laugh whenever you get the chance, and laugh even louder when people give you funny looks. Embrace those times when you laugh until your tummy hurts … laughter has the power to heal not only your soul, but also your body.’

Although very family orientated, Natasha moved out of her home two weeks before lockdown so she spent her time making her new place feel like home while Baily, her miniature Maltese, kept her busy.

Asking her about who inspired her most, Natasha doesn’t even think twice before she answers.

‘My grandfather Gumpie. He’s the perfect example of how to live your life to the fullest, to always challenge yourself, to impact lives positively and to always be respectful towards others. Hey, he might be 80 years old but he’s on Instagram and Facebook!’

Needless to say, Natasha is a role model and inspiration herself. When she puts her mind to something, she’ll go full-out. ‘Remember, what’s meant for you won’t pass you by.’

Follow her on Facebook and Instagram: Natasha Joubert.

 

Text: RIALIEN FURSTENBERG. Photographers: WILLEM BOTHA, YUVEER KARUNCHUND & GARRETH BARCLAY.

 

 

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