Lebohang Monyatsi was crowned first princess in the first Miss Wheelchair World competition, making South Africa proud. The beauty funded her own trip by taking out a personal loan. Now, she is preparing to fight for the rights of people with disabilities. ROLLING INSPIRATION caught up with the South African princess to learn more about her experience at the pageant and her plans going forward.
How did you learn about the Miss Wheelchair World competition and what inspired you to participate?
I’ve always followed the Miss Wheelchair World page on Facebook. That’s how I learned about the competition. I was inspired to participate because I’ve always wanted people with a disability to be recognised in the media industry.
What was your favourite moment in the competition?
My favourite was when all 24 ladies, from around the world, gathered together for one common goal – to change the image of people with a disability.
How do you feel about your win?
I’m overjoyed and I feel that I can influence and inspire people, especially those with disabilities. I believe that the title I received is not only for me but for all my African people.
What advice do you have for other girls who would like to participate in future competitions?
Accept yourself with your imperfections; embrace your flaws, because those are the ones that make you beautiful and unique and stand out from the rest of the world.
What has changed in your life after this inspirational experience (question from a reader)?
Being First Princes of Miss Wheelchair World comes with responsibilities, so now I’m busier than I was before with, for example, invitations to conduct motivational talks and visiting charity organisations.
What plans do you have?
Since this competition, I’ve realised that people with a disability want to be in the media industry and they do not know where to start. I’m planning a project where they can come and showcase their talents.
You can follow Lebohang on Twitter at @RollingGoddess or on Facebook at @LebohangMonyatsi. Learn more about the Miss Wheelchair World competition on Facebook @MissWheelchairWorld.