The Miss Ehlanzeni 2019 Ambassador Portia Mhlanga who was crowned last year in Mbombela, Mpumalanga had a chat with us about her run as the brand ambassador and her philanthropic work.
Briefly introduce yourself
Portia Mhlanga is from the village of Agincourt in Bushbuckridge. I am a philanthropist, a role model and I’m passionate about giving back to the community and modelling (both pageantry and fashion).
It’s about a year now, but can you still remember the experience winning the title Ambassador?
I will never forget the 13th of July 2019, I still remember when they called out my name as Miss Ehlanzeni Ambassador, for a moment I closed my eyes and did a little prayer in my heart saying “Thank you Lord “. I had the most amazing supporters #Teamposh, cheering for me like nobody’s business; their voices filled the hall and that made me so confident and my smile never faded even for a sec. Thank you once more #TeamPosh
How has the journey been being Miss Ehlanzeni Ambassador 2019?
Being Miss Ehlanzeni Ambassador is a blessing in disguise. The Miss Ehlanzeni brand is all about entrepreneurship and equipping the skills of raising funds and sales. The brand has helped me a lot when it comes to building my own brand and identifying hidden skills, I can now proudly say that I am a brand, not just a brand but a growing brand and all thanks to Miss Ehlanzeni brand. I have now started designing clothes with the help of my mom, so now I have a way to generate income using my own hands and the support I’m getting is amazing.
What are some of the activities you have done with the title?
Just to mention a few…
- I’ve donated school uniform for the vulnerable learners of +/- 30.
- Partnered with Elphus Lebambo Foundation where we collect clothes and donate to needy families.
- I have been mentoring, couching and training models around Bushbuckridge municipality (groups and individuals) +/- 70.
- Partnered with a friend and we donated 50 pairs of school shoes. She came up with the idea – inspired by me, according to her.
- Partnered with Vincent Mgiba Foundation in going around schools and motivating learners.
- I’ve collected hygiene products to donate to a primary school I have identified to help keep both a boy and girl child clean at school and 10 pairs of school shoes.
What next for you after the title goes to another deserving lady?
I am following my passion for giving and as I speak now I am in the process of registering my NPO and my company. With the rate of unemployment in South Africa, there’s no use of sitting around waiting for employment but what we can do is start something that can generate income and employ others.
What can you advise to the ladies contesting this year?
It is not an easy journey, it requires passion, dedication, hard work and focus. You will come across difficulties, people will talk, trying to discourage you but always remember why you started in the first place. Remember no matter what you do people will always talk. Keep your chin up and walk tall. Be proud of yourself and always be eager to learn. Look at the other contestants as your sisters and you will learn a lot from them.
Any plans to participate in other pageants?
Oh yes! My next pageant will be Provincial Mpumalanga Ms and yes to many more pageants.
What are some of the special things about Ehlanzeni and Mpumalanga?
We have the most beautiful places for tourists to visit. I love nature so much so the most special thing about Ehlanzeni and Mpumalanga as a whole is the beauty of nature in my province. Places such as the waterfalls, Three rondavels, potholes, Gods window, echo caves and a lot more.