2nd Princess: Boipelo Mabe on generational poverty & the challenges she faced during Miss SA pageant

Catching up Boipelo Mabe who was crowned 2nd princess during Miss SA 2017

By  | Dec 06, 2018, 01:44 AM

A chat with Boipelo Mabe

After giving a very impressive answer during the final round of the Miss South Africa pageant, Boipelo single handedly won the hearts of many South Africans.

During the final round of the competition, Boipelo and the rest of the ladies were asked by the judges what their worst fears are.

Boipelo, who had the best answer, in our opinion, spoke about her fears in the ever looming vicious cycle of generational poverty amongst black South African families and how she aspires to break that vicious cycle within her own family as well.

Read: The must-see looks from the 2017 Miss South Africa pageant

Boipelo's answer was met with a lot of positive cheers from viewers who were watching the pageant.

Speaking to ZAlebs Boipelo explained that her answer came from a place of experience as a child who grew up in a family burdened by generational poverty. 

"The moment I heard that question, about my biggest fear, I immediately thought to myself that my biggest fear was really just not being able to succeed and excel in the things that I've been wanting to do. But the roots to that, stems from generational poverty and the idea of my grandparents being poor, my parents were poor and as a result, I become poor and my children become poor.

So that really came from my experiences growing up in Alex, and just how everything was quite difficult, we either had to live from hand to mouth or we had enough just to get by through the month. 

And part of my dreams and goals and just everything that I've done to this point is to not have to live like that and to break away from the vicious cycle.

So in that moment, when I heard that question, that (generational poverty) came to mind and I was just like, ok, here we go."


As poised and as confident as she sounds, you would think that the pageant process for Boipelo was nothing but a walk in the park, but the young beauty did admit that she was met with a lot of challenges during the competition.

"The mental preparation for me was the most challenging part. Being put in a space where you're competing with amazing women from different backgrounds, different experiences and we're all gunning for the same thing was daunting.

So having gone through it without comparing myself or trying to think that I could've been or dressed a certain way or walked a certain way was difficult because every girl comes with what they have and what they know. So for me, I didn't have a point of reference from my family or anyone as to how to view this whole process."


Boipelo also added that her background also added to the challenges she experienced during the competition.

"Sometimes, I wouldn't have money to get really good outfits, so I just had to work with what I had and try and still be comfortable through that. You look at the next girl and they're looking amazing, so trying to deal with those dynamics and still trying to remind myself that I'm as good enough even though I didn't have the best outfit or hair was the challenging process of the competition but I just had to remind myself that I deserved to be here." Said Boipelo.

Boipelo informed ZAlebs that for now, she'll continue to develop her career in broadcasting as she was a news reader at Soweto TV. Her Masters is still on hold, but she plans on using all the networking opportunities she's managed to get from the competition to her advantage.

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Main Image Credit: Facebook