East London girl represents Eastern Cape in 2015 Miss Grand pageant


East London resident, Danielle Leach, is the only finalist from the Eastern Cape Province, who will participate in the Miss Grand South Africa pageant in Sun City, Johannesburg, in September.

The event will be South Africa’s first ever Miss Grand pageant, having started internationally three years ago.

21-year old Danielle was selected as one of the finalists in May - it was also her first time participating in a beauty pageant.

“Everything for me is extremely new and is an experience and so I don’t know what to expect,” she told Go & Express.

As part of the guidelines of the pageant, all the finalists are required to start and manage a Facebook group, raise money for the charity of their choice and promote themselves with an SMS line before the finals.

The Bachelor of Social Science graduate has chosen to work with PetPals, a pet sanctuary centre situated in Gonubie, East London.

According to Leach, through support from local residents, she has raised more than R5 000 and has gathered food and blankets for the animals.

“With having to ask for support from many people, this competition has gotten me out of my bubble and I’ve certainly learnt to be more confident,” she remarked.

The Miss Grand pageant also assists charity organisations that deal with children and women affected by violence and abuse.

“The mission of the pageant is to spread hope and educate people about racial harmony and tolerance and to stop violence,” reads a statement on its website.