It is highly unlikely that someone with no pageantry background would win such a huge and coveted title as Mrs. South Africa; yet that is the case with current title holder, Nicole Capper.

Her daughter’s diagnosis with a rare disease was the biggest motivation behind Nicole braving the pageantry world and putting her daughter before her fears. “As a little girl I dreamt about participating in pageants but it I kept that to myself. It was something I secretly hoped I would do but was never confident to do it. I think I had a lot of fear and insecurities even as an adult until my little girl was born”, Nicole says.

The mother of two had to look at life differently when her now 2-year-old girl was born with a rare genetic life-limiting disease. “My daughter’s diagnosis changed our whole world and my perspective on life. There was no time for insecurities anymore; I had to decide whether I wanted to be a victim or an example. I decided to be an example for my little girl. For her to have a normal life, she would have to work a lot harder than other children her age. She would have to be fearless and fight for her life literally. I thought the least I could do is to chase after my dreams fearlessly and make both my kids believe that they could do the same”.

(Nicole works closely with Rare Diseases South Africa - here she appears at the premier of the movie 'Wonder' - creating awareness about rare diseases. Follow her campaign 'I see you' on all social media platforms)

Mrs. South Africa became the perfect platform for Nicole to realize her desire of leading by example as the pageant is not only about beauty but also seeks to empower women. “I’ve been watching Mrs. SA for a while and a friend of mine competed two years ago and that was amazing to watch – she was very inspiring and took brave steps. I thought that if she could do it, maybe I could do it too”.

‘It takes a strong man to stand back and let a woman shine’

Nicole is a successful businesswoman; another bold step she took as she decided to leave her job and start her own business. ‘This process liberated me from working in an environment where I wasn’t living to my full potential and it was pure bravery – because you can never see the full staircase, you can only take one step at a time. When you’ve got people that believe in you and you believe in yourself, I think it’s then easier to take the next step”.

Nicole’s passion for health and wellness led her to pursuing studies in sports medicine and exercise science and later went into health and wellness as well as functional medicine. This later helped in keeping her daughter healthy through taking part in fitness training and health activities as a family.

With the change that came with being crowned Mrs. SA, Nicole has learnt to balance her life and enjoys maximum support from her husband and kids. “My husband has been very supportive. It takes a strong man to stand back and let a woman shine”.

Getting ready for Mrs. World

With Mrs. World taking place in Johannesburg, SA on December 16, 2017, Nicole is proud to represent her country and competing at home is something she is also excited about. “I’m going to try to be the best version of myself. I have great examples of women to look up to such as our very own Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and our former Mrs. World Candice Abrahams who will be in the judging panel this year”.

 “Winning the Mrs. South Africa title has been an absolute dream come true. It’s quite surreal and very overwhelming but I’m excited and loving every moment of it. I’m looking forward to the Mrs. World pageant and want I want to make my country proud”.

It is quite inspiring to see how a little girl’s determination to live can give birth to a life of purpose in her mom. ‘She gave me the perspective and the purpose to push on when things got hard but I also learnt that it’s okay to do things for me’.

 

Article by Amanda Matshaka

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