|Miss SA Melinda Bam, right, and first princess Remona Moodley. Photo: Sizwe Ndingane|
With her “feet firmly on the ground and her head steady on her shoulders”, reigning Miss South Africa Melinda Bam said recent rumours surrounding her decision to withdraw from the Miss World competition had not harmed her career and she was more determined than ever to claim the title of Miss Universe at the end of the year.
Bam said her decision to withdraw from the pageant was not unusual and it was a “personal choice” and not personal circumstances as recently reported.
“My decision was well thought through because I know what I am focusing on.
“Preparing for Miss Universe is a big project and I am going there to win,” she said.
Bam explained that she was confident about her decision to send her replacement, first princess Remona Moodley, to the pageant instead. “Instead of focusing on rumours the country should focus on supporting Remona,” she said. In response to recent rumours about her being pregnant and sick, Bam said it was purely sensationalism.
On Sunday several newspapers reported that Bam would not attend the Miss World pageant as she was having her breasts enlarged.
“I’m not going to lie to you and say I have never considered it. Of course I have.
“What woman does not want beautiful breasts to fill a summer top? I have decided against it because it is important to me to stay natural.
“One of my strong points is that I am spontaneous and natural, and I would like to keep it that way,” she said.
She said that the focus of the Miss Universe competition had changed over the past few years and with recent wins by Miss Angola and Miss Mexico it became evident that the pageant was looking for natural beauties.
“I don’t want to be like a plastic doll. I am not going to find fault with my body,” she said.
Bam said the recent rumours had made her stronger.
“I don’t take it personally and I have so much support from fans on Twitter.
“I have realised that my fans have come to know me personally, as a person, and that is very comforting to me,” she said.
Bam explained that the rumours did not spoil her fun at the Vodacom Durban July at the weekend.
“I had a great time and so many people offered me their support. It was not awkward at all,” she said.
Bam said her parents were worried about what the rumours would do to her, but said they knew the rumours were not true and she had their full support.
“I think it is difficult for every mother when her daughter goes through something like this and they want to protect me, but they have realised that I am handling the entire situation well,” she said.
She said the situation had taught her so much and she had grown on a personal level.
“It is very satisfying to know that there are people who don’t believe every rumour they hear,” she said.
In the meantime the 23-year-old beauty is also focusing on a charity project close to her heart.
She explained that the Thuthuzela Children’s home in Alexandra was losing its property and she and several contributors like M-Net Cares, CNBC Africa, Business for Empowerment Trust and BEE2Business were busy working on the project.
“It is not just about the property but also the personal needs of the children.
“Our aim is to get the children to grow on a personal level and never to blame failures in life on their circumstances but rather to have the confidence to try again,” she said.
Bam said she was positive that the rumours would have no negative effect on her project and work as Miss SA.
“The home was recently given a R100 000 donation by Business for Empowerment Trust,” she said.
It was a very big project with many contractors and they planned to have the property ready by the end of the year.
“Even if it takes a little longer it won’t matter.
“This is not a project I am planning to work on for a year only. It is close to my heart and I’m planning to be involved for the next 15 years,” she said.
Bam said she would also be preparing herself for the Miss Universe pageant in coming months.
“We do not know in which country the pageant will be held yet, but once we do it will become clearer as to the preparations that need to be made,” she said.
She explained that contestants needed to learn some of the language of the country in which the pageant would be held.
“You are away from home for an entire month before the pageant. You have to prepare your national costume, as well as your dress and swimwear for the final evening. You attend three functions a day for a month, so packing 90 outfits is not easy,” she said, laughing.
SOURCE: Pretoria News, 7/10/2012