A dream comes true for NWU beauty

She was born a Ndebele girl, the first of four children and the only daughter of an extremely grounded and rooted Christian mother from Kwaggafontein. Penny (Penelope) Motshwene will always put her family first, for this is a lesson she learnt at a tender age. It has helped her achieve one of her biggest dreams and she now boasts as Clicks Magazine’s new front page face of the year.

With this title, she not only got to be on the front page of this well-read magazine, she also won a modelling contract for three years and a Clicks gift card worth R10 000, beauty products worth R20 000 and a 12-month supply of Sorbet treatments valued at R3 295. ‘If this dream has come true, surely I can make all the others a reality.’ This is what went through her mind as she heard the news that she had won.

‘I was humbled and excited, shed some tears and gave thanks to the Most High because He knows our hearts and what we desire. Being chosen as a face from over 4 000 entries is only possible if God is in Control,’ she said thankfully.

Penny only discovered her love for modelling when she was at university but she was too scared to give it a shot. ‘As I grew older and developed a great sense of confidence, I started believing in myself and found more than enough reasons to give it a try and, what do you know, I now find myself covering one of the largest viewed magazines in the country!’ she said.

On a daily basis, she works with students with disabilities at the NWU’s Potchefstroom campus. ‘I spent months praying to move away from the big city, Pretoria, into a small town that would allow me to spend less time in traffic and more time working on my dreams and I got exactly that,’ she said.

She said that working with these students has been an amazing experience. ‘At times, when I forget about my dreams, they are there to quickly remind me that I can still try harder to achieve that which I believe is purposed for me.’

Her passion for beauty comes out on weekends when she does make-up in her free time. ‘I love bringing beauty out of every woman I come across,’ she said. ‘I love this part of my life because it allows me to be creative and break boundaries. It brings alive the whimsical aspects in my character.’

She has decided that, when the three-year modelling contract has passed, she will continue to try and make her dreams come true by entering the Mrs South Africa pageant. She also wants to establish a talk show for young people, addressing all the difficulties the youth faces and the changes they go through.

She already has some advice for young women who also want to achieve their dreams.

‘Confidence tells a story and is the best thing that any young woman can wear. I would advise young women to take the journey of self-discovery, come face to face with themselves and establish who they really are and what would really make them happy. I would advise them to always leave their homes looking like the very person they would like to be in the future, look after themselves so that others can recognise their inherent potential to look after others, projects, businesses and campaigns.’

‘Once upon a time, all this was just a dream. It is true what Lupita Nyong’o said − our dreams are valid. It is true, our dreams really are valid. It takes courage to act and sometimes that’s all we need, a leap of faith to make it happen.’

Marianke Saayman

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