Cindy-jade Gaweses

Brief: Selected as a finalist for the Mr and Miss Face of Namibia pageant

Share your achievement/success story in detail. I have recently been selected as a finalist for the Mr and Miss Face of Namibia pageant. The Mr and Miss Face of Namibia organization is a non-profit that aims to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Namibia, to introduce youth ambassadors for Namibia, and to build confidence, skills, and talent. The Mr and Miss Face of Namibia is an organization that encourages the recognition and inclusion of all Namibian people, regardless of their identity, values, orientation, culture, and ethnicity.

Tell us more about your journey leading up to this moment. Raised by my grandmother in a small town called Tsumeb. I moved to Windhoek to continue my high school at Jan Mohr Secondary school. I have been known as the outspoken girl who always made sure people can come to me with any and everything. Always wanted to make sure people knew that they had someone who could and always would listen to whatever it is that they had on their minds. I was elected as head girl in primary and then later in high school. I honestly never understood what exactly people saw in me other than the fact that I enjoyed public speaking and loved to be around people, and helping them. I became a mentor for the DREAMS initiative, led by the Hope Namibia Project, and funded by the US Agency for International Development. It aims to prevent new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women through a combination of HIV prevention and impact-mitigation interventions in Namibia. This really made me realize that I have a passion for mentoring, especially with young women as it shed light on how I actually struggled with my identity in high school and so on. I wanted to reach a bigger platform to help people, especially young girls and that led me to enter the Miss Namibia pageant last year but that was unsuccessful. Later that year, I entered the Mr and Miss NUST pageant and I walked away with the 'Miss Photogenic' title. This all showed me how I actually have a passion for pageantry, too. I then told myself that I would take the year 2020 to properly prepare for my entry for Miss Namibia 2021 and Mr and Miss Face of Namibia is the perfect platform for me considering how the pandemic has derailed my plans for proper planning.

What does this achievement mean to you and how will you use it to motivate others? This achievement means a lot to me. The Mr and Miss Face of Namibia will mean removing the traditional 'pageant girl' understanding. Mr and Miss Face of Namibia means being completely unapologetic about who or what you are and empowering those around you to do the same. The Mr and Miss Face of Namibia means that I will have the honor and the privilege to show what makes us special. Mr and Miss Face of Namibia embodies all that is remarkable and unique about real men and women. Emphasis on the 'real' stuff. We are more than just "Beauty Queens and Kings". We're more than just our hair and skin, our faces, or our bodies. We are a modern-day group of women and men coming from different backgrounds, different walks of life, and different mindsets. We've been through things. Things that have changed how we view life. We did great things-noticeable and unnoticed, quiet, and with big megaphones. We've got a lot to say and shed light on and it’s time we use platforms like these to make our presence known.

What are your plans for the future? I plan to take over the world! I may be small but boy, my dreams are bigger than me. I will be the next Miss Namibia, the next Miss Universe and this is only the beginning.

Share with us your success quote! "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." - Ray Goforth