UP alumna a Miss SA finalist

Posted on August 10, 2023

University of Pretoria (UP) graduate Lebohang Raputsoe, a human resources professional who graduated earlier this year with an MCom in Human Resource Management from UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, made it to the top 12 of the 2023 Miss SA beauty pageant. The top 12 finalists were announced in June and were part of the Miss SA Crown Chasers reality show.  The Miss SA crowning will take place this weekend.

For the last three consecutive years, three UP alumnae have been crowned Miss SA, namely Ndavi Nokeri (2022), Lalela Mswane (2021), and Shudufhadzo Musida (2020) – all three who have gone to make a positive impact on communities.

Raputsoe, who grew up in the Vaal, has been inspired to be a change agent in society. She is passionate about education and playing a part in strategically influencing and uplifting the lives of youth. 

“I believe it is important to cultivate the knowledge and skills of this generation, to ensure that future generations inherit the manifestation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I firmly believe that we cannot emphasise enough the importance of progressive youth empowerment, including self-sustaining measures to accelerate active youth participation in the economy.”

For Raputsoe, beauty pageants are still relevant to address the role that women play in society; highlighting the potential and power women possess to make an impact.

“Beauty pageants have progressed far beyond their perceived purpose being only ascribed to looks. The platforms have transformed to highlight issues that affect women on a daily basis and to encourage, develop and empower women to take ownership of their lives,” she adds.

Having taken ownership herself, Raputsoe has started a non-profit organisation called the ABC Community, which stands for Articulation, Branding, and Confidence, and aligns with the community vision to promote sustainable development and self-development of youth.

“I have named the ABC a ‘community’ to enhance the value of each member, focusing on ‘doing with’ and seeking change through an equal and reciprocal relationship between the community and the ABC. The community further seeks to enhance and enable youth to tap into their full potential, stimulating intellectual conversations and actioning sustainable interventions,” she explains. 

With the platform she aims to empower and develop youth to optimise their full potential and be self-sustaining. To her, it is also important to note that education starts at home – encouraging youth to develop emotional connections with their overall learning experience and supporting them to finish what they start is also part of what she advocates. 

Raputsoe decided to pursue a career in HR to contribute to human capital effectiveness in enhancing positive productivity, and through promoting fairness in the workplace environment and socioeconomic space.

“Through working in HR you learn to understand the criteria needed to gain workplace entry and how to progress internally, which does not exclude difficulty and barriers to progress. I believe that I can use this knowledge to help with providing vital information and assist with skills development, possible future job opportunities and to guide youth through a wholistic developmental perspective to ease with their transition into the workplace,” she says.

She believes that the Miss SA organisation will open doors for sustainable partnership, collaboration and information to better influence, capacitate and motivate youth at a local and national level.

Her Miss SA journey has been full of surprises and a huge step out of her comfort zone. “One day I was just Lebohang and the next day I was a Miss SA 2023 finalist, what a dream! I have learned to trust God and His timing, and that all will fall into place as it is destined to happen.” 

Raputsoe is very family-orientated and loves working together with others to make an impact. She is currently writing a children’s book and an autobiography, while doing youth empowerment and development through ABC Community. She also works as a marketing director at her parents’ guest house.

“My parents have played a huge role in shaping who I am today. They have taught me to always push further than I can imagine, step into the unknown, take risks and always strive to optimise my full potential. The idea that I am capable of tapping into my full potential and doing all I set my mind to motivates me to always strive to do and be better,” she concludes. 

*This article has been updated

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