Born as enthusiastic woman with boundless dreams, Ntsotiseng Ralebakeng has set her sight on breaking the coyness barriers.
A young woman rooting out from Welkom in Free State, hopes to make a positive change in her life, as she eagers for greatness after taking a leap in Miss South Africa.
While many have given up at this point, Ntsotiseng knew her story was only the beginning. It was in 2020, when the 24-year-old made the decision to embrace her love for modeling by establishing Ebony model management, a brand that gave her inspiration to go for bigger chapter in her life.
The passionate Joyce, as she’s well known, earned her Fine Art qualification from Vaal University, and this paved the way to link her love for modeling with her artistic physiognomies.
“I’ve always been a creative child, art has always been my escape and that’s where the love grew. I then went on to pursue it as a career by studying Fine Art.”She said.
Ntsotiseng says during her upbringing she was known as a spontaneous child with innovative frame of mind. “I’ve at all times had the love for modelling, but I guess I never had the courage to do it.”
However, she describes that although her childhood was captivating, it all came with contempt.
“Growing up as a dark skin child I’ve had my fair share of being labelled and called names, constantly being called Mantsho, Mafifi, and Mnyamane,”said Ntsotiseng.
“I remember one incident in primary where I was chosen to enter a beauty pageant by my Grade 5 teachers, the experience wasn’t good, and the recipient of the crowd to my presence on stage made me feel as if the world could swallow me right there and then,” she added.
She continued, “After that day I swore to never participate in beauty pageants, and that resulted in me having a low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
“People would ask me why I am not into modelling and my excuse over the years would be that, I need to focus on my school work I don’t have time, but in all honesty I was just scared to put myself out there.”
Persuading her studies at the University, Ntsotiseng says that’s where she embraced her melanin skin and valued her inner self, “Being around people with different perspective in life helped me to look at myself with a different eye.”
Journey to Miss SA
Ntsotiseng takes us through her journey to Miss South Africa: “My Miss SA journey started last year, but unfortunately my journey was cut short I didn’t make it through.
“For me taking that step was a win, a milestone worth to be celebrated because I never thought I would get there. I believe that dreams delayed aren’t dreams denied; a new day is an opportunity to try again and be better than you were yesterday.
So with that being said, I decided to try again this year and with more faith that I will get further in the competition,” she said.
Ntsotiseng says she has been inspired by the likes of Lupita Nyongo, Alek Wek and the Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi. “It is such an inspiration to see these faces in the media and hearing their stories it’s even heart-warming to hear that I can relate.”
“Remember the Amarula advert featuring Alek Wek that we grew up seeing on TV back in the days? I used to love it so much, because this face that looked similar to mine, and my aunt would always say that one day I am going to be the face of Amarula.”
She says her motivation comes from wanting to be on the list of great women who are flying the melanin flag high and breaking the boundaries that the society has about dark skinned people.