Name: Chanelle Sardinha
Region: Fourways, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Occupation: I am an actress and model. Having recently completed my Honours degree in BA Dramatic Arts at Wits University, this is my first year attempting to break into this industry. Growing up, I enjoyed performing in lead roles in musicals such as Annie, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors, which allowed me to fuel my passion for acting, singing and dancing. I have also developed a love for acting and modelling in front of the camera and want to gain as much experience and exposure as I can in this field. It will also enhance my skills and self-belief. I featured in a number of local and international TV commercials and campaigns such as Dove Hair Care, ABSA, Barclay’s Bank, Oronamin C, American Tourister and Monte Norte.
Previous beauty competitions/pageants won? I was spotted at the age of six by a ‘tuck-shop mom’ at my school, who insisted that my mom enter me into the ‘Little Miss Fourways Mall’ pageant which I won. I was crowned by former Miss South Africa, Bernelee Daniel, and awarded a one-year modelling contract which led to me winning a number of other titles, including Miss Reach for a Dream, Miss UCPA, Miss Cameo Legs, Miss Junior RSA and Miss Sandton Model of the Year, at which I was crowned by yet another Miss South Africa, Yolanda Kloppers.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? I would love to be Miss South Africa because I know who I am and what my country stands for. I pride myself in being approachable, compassionate, humble and enthusiastic. If I am blessed with the opportunity, I will employ a one-on-one approach. I will offer my time to anyone in need. I believe my involvement in the arts will equip me for the Miss South Africa pageant. As a Miss South Africa, you are on display to the world as a global representative of your country. Having studied the art of being in front of an audience on stage and in front of a camera crew, I have honed my energy into being confident in my own skin and ensuring that I remain poised and true to myself in every situation.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you and why? Every former Miss South Africa has inspired our nation and left a mark in their unique way. The two Miss South Africa titleholders who connect with me because of their careers are Basetsana Kumalo and Jo-Ann Strauss who both used the platform to create their own legacies. Basetsana is inspiring, having attained the position of President of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, as well as through her television production company, Tswelopele Productions. Jo-Ann, on the other hand, has become a familiar TV face who epitomises class and poise. Melinda Bam and Rolene Strauss also exemplify the compassionate and nurturing spirit of Miss South Africa, which I truly admire.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why? My role model is my mom. She is never without a smile on her face and always greets people with a warm embrace. She has a love for people and compassion for others, qualities which I strive to emulate.
Tell us a bit more about your family? I come from a family of four consisting of my dad Sidney, my mom Teresa, my older brother Shaun, and me. We are your typical close-knit South African family with a Portuguese heritage who cheer each other on in all of our endeavours. My family mean the world to me and I thank God every day for the love and happiness they constantly show me. My dad is an entrepreneur who specialises in retail. I am “daddy’s girl” and look up to my dad with respect and admiration for his bravery, perseverance and his ability to always put a smile on my face. My mom is a qualified Treasury Dealer but is currently working as a PA to a Director of a company. My friends and I always call her “Mother Teresa” because of her kind and caring nature. She is always helping people wherever she goes. My mom is not only the first person I go to for advice but she is also my best friend. My older brother is a chartered accountant at Deloittes. We are only 19 months apart and therefore have a bond so close that we often consider ourselves to be twins.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I further my knowledge and passion for health and fitness. I am currently doing a Personal Training Certificate to educate myself and others about living a happy and healthy lifestyle. The easiest way for me to unwind and think clearly is by running. I enjoy long distance running and losing myself in my thoughts and returning home with my favourite “endorphin rush”.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? My message is there is nothing more beautiful and empowering than a woman who knows her self-worth. Treasure yourself, motivate yourself and believe that you are only capable of greatness.
If you won the Miss SA crown and were able to meet one person, who would it be and why? I would love to meet as many people in need as possible. I want to walk in their shoes, hear their stories, make them laugh, see them smile and leave with them understanding their full potential.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Although I am extremely feminine in the way I present myself, people might be surprised to know that there is a tomboy side to me. I love learning about cars and engines and thoroughly enjoy all adrenaline-junkie activities. I recently bungee jumped off the Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bungee jump in the world. It was the craziest yet most exhilarating thing I have ever done!
What are you reading? I am currently indulging in the book Lean In by COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg. It is proving to be an extremely fascinating and empowering read. Sandberg writes about gender inequality in the workplace and how we as women, and a nation, can promote equality through focusing on our strengths and rights as women instead of our pre-conceived ‘weaknesses’.
What is on your iPod? I use my iPod while running and at gym and play mostly upbeat dance music. I particularly enjoy songs with one-liners of motivation which encourage and linger with me.
Your favourite TV show? My favourite TV show is Suits. I find law extremely fascinating and particularly love the lead character, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), as she is the senior partner of a highly successful law firm and is not only an extremely talented actress but a vision of female power and strength onscreen.
Your favourite meal? My favourite food is Asian food, in particular sushi. Having travelled to Thailand a year ago, I developed a new-found appreciation for Asian culture, food and its people.