Social ills are a burden that keep many residents stagnant and giving up on their pursuit for better life.
Young people bear the brunt of poverty while the community stands at a distance to watch as society sinks into shambles.
Only a few are prepared to step up and roll up their sleeves to do the hard work of saving the youth who are victims of family circumstances.
A pageant coach, Dimakatso Matencha is cut from a different cloth, and refuses stand by doing nothing while social ills erode society.
Dimakatso, also known as Dimakatso Thomas, said he fought tirelessly throughout his life to find a voice and command the respect he deserves.
“I am known as H-O-P-E, I am Heaven On Planet Earth. I am giving to young people opportunities that I never had. I am there to hold their hand and give them hope. Doors had been shut on my face, I fought until I found my voice, which is art,” said Dimakatso.
Dimakatso is currently a coach assisting young women in beauty pageants and modelling, a talent he discovered by fighting for his place in the society.
“I train women who take part in beauty pageants, particularly around Tembisa. I am good at what I do, I am fierce and I am a beast. My work speaks for itself.”
In 2009, when he was enlisted as master of ceremonies at a local beauty pageant, Dimakatso says the organisers of the event were in disagreement over whether he should be the MC or not.
He said he could not let himself walk away from the event just because certain individuals were uncomfortable with who he is – a talented gay artist.
“Alternatively I insisted to be a contestant, being gay competing against 19 female models. The response from the audience was positive, and my competitive spirit made me push on and I took position four in that competition. That is when I got interested in modelling, and in 2010 I entered a Tembisa gay pageant where I took position three.”
Dimakatso said he does not let other people’s opinions of him affect his life, and he is uncompromising about the things he wants.
He said he has been part of the success of many beauty pageants in Tembisa, which means a lot to him, and he gets calls from many pageant organisers who want to enlist his coaching services.
“February 2017 I got a call from the Miss Face of Tembisa inviting me to be part of the pageant as a coach, choreographer and MC.
I eventually became part of the organising committee, and we use these prestigious events to tackle social issues faced by young people.
Last year we were focusing on violence against children and women, and this year’s pageant we want it to address the issue of same-sex marriages.”
He said interested models who want to be part of Miss Face of Tembisa 2018 can visit the pageant’s Facebook page at Miss Face of Tembisa, or go to Dimakatso M Thomas on Facebook.