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Miss Wheelchair South Africa proves beauty has not limits as she jets off to Mexico for World finals

South Africa’s Miss Wheelchair Tamelyn Bock's life goal to show the world that beauty knows no limits came to fruition as she jetted off to Mexico at the weekend to compete in the Miss Wheelchair World pageant on Saturday, October 29.

South Africa’s Miss Wheelchair Tamelyn Bock jetted off to Mexico at the weekend to compete in the Miss Wheelchair World pageant on Saturday, October 29.

Bock was crowned Miss Wheelchair South Africa in August 2021. She hails from a small town in the Northern Cape, Nababeep, north of Springbok.

Bock said: “I am very excited to meet the beautiful ladies from all the different countries. We all share the same mission, to change the world and to highlight that beauty has no limits.”

She added: “It is a huge achievement to be able to represent our country.”

Last year Block launched a fundraising campaign on to enable her to compete in Mexico. It was an injection of R 50 000 from fellow Nababeep copper producer Copper 360 that sealed the deal.

Formerly known as Big Tree Copper, Copper 360 is South Africa’s only premium copper producer operating a processing plant in the old mining town in the Northern Cape

Jan Nelson, chief executive of Copper 360 had this to say about the Donati: “We are a small community, and we all live for one another, and when we heard that Tamelyn needed a donation to get over the line, it was a no-brainer for us to help her out.”

Born with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic condition that affects the nerves and makes my muscles weak, Bock lost her ability to walk at the age of 8 and has since been wheelchair-dependent. 

“My title is the voice of change, to bring change, to see change for persons living with disabilities to take their rightful spot in society and in the work space. And to be equally acknowledged, loved and respected,” she said at the time of her crowning. “I am excited to show the world that nothing is impossible, and anything can be achieved through hard work.”

Nelson said that he views Bock as a champion whether she comes home with the crown or not. He said that the awareness that the pageant creates is the real victory.

Nelson added: “When Tamelyn returns she will head straight to our plant and begin interrogating every aspect of it, and help us to make it safer, easier to navigate and more friendly for physically challenged people.” He added that the resources sector was traditionally not a friendly place for disabled persons, and Copper 360 plans to change that with Bock’s help.

He noted: “We intend to publish a guide next year that includes Tamelyn’s recommendations and our progress towards inclusion and make it available to any company as a downloadable blueprint on how to just make a few changes that can change someone else’s experience of the world significantly more positive.”

Miss Wheelchair South Africa Tamelyn Bock jetts off to Mexico to take part in the Miss Wheelchair World.

Bock wants to use the exposure from the Miss Wheelchair World to enable women in wheelchairs to gain the necessary opportunities and support in their respective fields with the main focus on inclusivity. “I hope to raise awareness about the challenges we face on a daily basis and to bring change. Most of all I aim to be a voice for women in wheelchairs. I am very driven by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’.”

The Miss Wheelchair World pageant celebrates its 6th instalment this year. The first ever edition of the beauty pageant was held in the Polish capital, Warsaw in 2017 by the Only One Foundation, which was founded by two disabled women seeking to break down barriers limiting disabled people. 

The pageant is committed to maintaining its founding mission that “every woman in a wheelchair has the right to be whoever she wants and feel beautiful”.

*For more courageous stories on what corporate SA is doing to empower and assist needy communities, visit the NOWinSA/EmpowerSA page regularly!

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