Affie Botes is the Mrs Mpumalanga Charity 2020 holder and is determined to use that platform to the fullest in empowering her community. The young lady from Nelspruit is also Self defense instructor and motivational speaker and has outlined some of her plans to Blazon Magazine
Give us a background on Mrs Affie Botes
Affie is an abbreviation of my full name – Affectionate. I started going by the name Affie when my classmates complained that my name was too long and if ever in danger, they wouldn’t be able to get me out of harm’s way in time. I grew up in the province of Mpumalanga, my hometown is Nelspruit though I spent a few years in Ermelo. I am the eldest of three daughters.
I am a wife and a Front Desk Secretary at the Communio Church in Nelspruit. I completed High School in 2014 and started working a day after writing my last Exam paper. I have been working ever since I completed high school and I also did a Public Administration Management course part- time, I completed my course this year in October through IQ Academy. I’m looking into doing a Degree in Public Relations as soon as my finances look up. Affie Botes the PR Specialist has a pretty good ring to it. (Smiles) I’m someone who believes in hard work and dedication to plans and self growth. I’m always open to challenging myself and discovering what new talents I have. Affie also has a Red belt in Japanese karate Associatio (JKA)
Why did you participate in the Mrs Mpumalanga pageant?
I have always wanted to impact my society, be a role model and make a difference in our future leaders lives and in 2018 I had the opportunity to watch the Crowning of Mrs Mpumalanga. I said to my Friend who was attending with me “I’m going to enter in 2019, I’m ready to start making my mark”
Months later in 2019, my husband and I were robbed while asleep in the house. We were in our most vulnerable state and anything could have happened. After realizing how blessed we were after the whole ordeal , I entered the pageant so that I can also share my story and experiences but also have a platform to make a difference in women and children’s lives.
Do you see yourself participating in other pageants? Like Mrs South Africa?
Yes definitely. I would like to enter Mrs SA and Mrs Africa Globe, I have been given the opportunity through the Mrs Mpumalanga brand to dream even bigger and to do more. I want to go down in history as a mentor, a role model; but most of all, as someone who cared and got involved in the community.
If somebody had told me about 10 years ago that I would enter a pageant I would definitely disagree with them – I wasn’t girly girl (giggles), but look now I’m even thinking about National and Global pageants. It all started with submitting an application for Mrs Mpumalanga and the sky is the limit.
What lessons have you learnt from the journey so far?
I have learnt that it is good to stay true to yourself and to always have a team that encourages you when times get rough.
Every challenge is achievable you just have to persevere and use all the cards you’re dealt out.
The most important lesson I have learnt and I’m so grateful for throughout my Mrs Mpumalanga journey is that, you have to stand your ground and you cannot allow people to be the wind and you be the paper and you fly to whichever direction you are being blown too. You have a people that you are representing and you have to represent them well and do your best so you can not be a follower of everything trending.
You are now Mrs Mpumalanga Charity, what projects are dear to you that you will like to embark on?
The projects that I will be focusing on in 2020 will be women and youth empowerment. The charity of my choice which is also a one really close to my heart is Tamer Restoration Centre. I’ll be working very closely with the Centre as well as with GRIP home of hope. Workshops and empowerment sessions are being set up for 2020 and are open to everyone. They will take place in the months of May and November 2020.
The Women and Children of Tamar Restoration Centre and GRIP home of hope will also be taking part in the Botes Self Defense Academy sessions that we will be offering to ensure that their confidence is restored.
Will also be working alongside local artists in the community such as Thandazani Ndlovu who is a talented artist and we will be using the platform that we have been given to raise funds and also to create awareness on gender-based violence, abuse and abduction.
In the month of August I would like to team up with our local Artists and raising awareness on true self and embracing our talents as instructors we will open our doors to our community to come in and experience self-defense first hand and learn the basics of self defense. All funds raised will go to the counselling program to help Abused women and children. There is also a heritage fun day that will be taking place in September 2020 and this Heritage fun day’s mission is to unite and create a whole diversity of friendships that will also help impact other provinces as well.
You are a Self-defense Instructor; tell us about that.
I have I had the pleasure and honour of doing Japanese karate for the past 3 years, where I have achieved my first red belt. After seeing the progress that I have been achieving and the self-confidence I have gotten from doing martial arts and enjoying it knowing that I can put my first down when I need to, has given birth to the Botes Self Defense Academy, which is run by my husband who is the Sensei and myself.
With the defense sessions that we will be providing we will not be teaching martial arts to our students we will be training them on Self Defense which is a form of protection Style that helps in the situations of Bullying, Abuse, Rape and Abduction. We have techniques that we will be using to equip our students to be able to protect themselves from these situations, We are not promoting violence of any kind we want to give the underdogs a fighting chance when it comes to a situation where they may see themselves helpless or as the victim.
We witnessed a lot of GBV and other issues related to women across the country, do you think the women of South Africa are now being heard?
I must say 2019 has had a rise in GBV and I don’t feel that we as South African women are being heard enough. Every now and again on your Facebook feed is a post that has to be shared because another woman or child has gone missing. We need to be more alert as a community an start looking closely, the signs are there. Only when we as a community start working together and helping each other will we get the message across that we are each other’s keepers. We are still a long way from being heard, we need to start equipping ourselves as well as protecting ourselves.
If you had the power to effect a change in Mpumalanga, what will it be?
I definitely would love to have the power to be able to boost and promote positivism and equality within our people by doing so we would be able to empower young people in developing a mindset.
Which 3 places or activities will be top of your list for a visitor to Mpumalanga?
The first place any visitor should visit when they are in the province of Mpumalanga has to be none other than the Kruger National Park, besides seeing the animals, the view and being in the bush is really amazing. You get to experience a piece of Africa when you are in the Kruger National Park. It is wild, unpacked and there are a lot of attractions so it will definitely be on my recommended list for any visitor coming to Mpumalanga.
Second place would have to be the Quad bike trails in Hazyview, if you want adventure and fun for the whole entire family you have to try this, get out of your comfort zone and you get to experience our province on a quad bike.
Last but not least, the Blyde River Canyon is a place you have to visit when you are in Mpumalanga. It has a lot of attractions and a lot of activities that you can do with family and friends and a lot of surrounding lodges to stay in, you wont run out of accommodation.