It’s very seldom that you will find a beauty queen in the military but Lance Corporal Marnuchelle Badenhorst, 22, pulled it off and with her adventurous spirit she has made it to the semi-finals and finals of two different beauty pageants.
Originally from Western Cape Signal Unit at Youngsfield Military Base, in Wynberg, Ms Badenhorst is Based at 2 Military Hospital in the signal department of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
“I work with everything that has to do with communication,” she said.
Ms Badenhorst said she has entered two beauty pageants this year – Miss Municipal SA and Miss Glam South Africa.
Miss Glam South Africa celebrates the beauty and strength of pageantry. “They believe pageantry provides positive growth and helps shape lives. Pageantry is not a one time event or competition, rather, it is a journey of empowerment, growth, trial and joy which yields lifelong connections and opportunities,” said Ms Badenhorst.
Miss Glam South Africa titleholders that have participated in the system are able to cultivate their personal, professional, and philanthropic goals. “These women are forward-thinking and motivated to not just talk about change, but to initiate it,” she said.
Miss Municipal SA platform was founded to create accessibility for girls in different municipalities to compete at a national level. It aims to equip girls with business skills through extensive workshops.
Ms Badenhorst said most of the workshops are online but the grand finals will be actual events and all Covid protocols will be adhered to.
“I have always been a beauty queen, entering small beauty contests at school and holiday resorts. It has always been my dream to enter bigger pageants and here I am today living out my dreams.”
She said woman empowerment is one of the main aims in all beauty pageants. “I am promoting my toiletry drive on social media and at work.
“I chose (to donate) to St George’s Home for Girls, (in Wynberg), because August is indeed Women’s Month and my main cause in Miss Glam SA is to help little girls in all ways possible so they can reach their dreams and become amazing women. I’d like to become an inspiration to our younger ladies and to let them know that there is hope for each one of them,” said Ms Badenhorst.
But what attracted her to join the military was her adventurous spirit. “I am the kind of girl that loves an adventure. And joining the military was one hard but amazing adventure, it gave me the ability to be physical and to study at the same time.”
Ms Badenhorst was born in Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal but grew up in Pretoria, in a military family “which makes me the fourth generation,” said Ms Badenhorst.
When asked if there are many women in the military she said, “there are many females but the males still outweigh us.”
And her advice to younger women is, “if you believe in something then it is possible with hard work and determination.”
What is the secret to success? “I’d say authenticity is the secret – rather be a first rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.”