by Yaya Mavundla
According to Wikipedia, a beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that mainly focuses on the physical beauty of its contestants, although such contests also incorporate personality, intelligence, talent, and answers to judges’ questions as judged criteria. The phrase almost invariably refers only to contest for women and girls; similar events for men or boys are called by other names and are more likely to be bodybuilding contests. Winners of beauty contests are often called beauty queens. Possible awards include titles, tiaras or crowns, sashes, savings bonds, and cash prizes.
I decided to discover what the newly crowned Miss Gay Jozi 2014, Miss Tee Menu (19) from Daveyton, Benoni when did she fall in-love with entering beauty pageants. I wanted to know what is her understanding with the word beauty pageant and her journey since she started entering the beauty contest samongst other things.
For the first time in history in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Zsa-Zsa Whitney of Club Simply Blue decided to launch a beauty contest for drag queens and transwomen Miss Gay Jozi last year, 2013. The question of why transwomen should partake in a “Miss Gay” pageant is a topic for another day.
The second year of Miss Gay Jozi saw a young transwoman from Daveyton takes the tittle home with the biggest cash prize any other drag beauty queen in Johannesburg ever won.
Here is what the beauty queen had to say on our little conversation.
Miss Tee is my female persona of Thabo Menu, who is now become a brand name
I was born in Kempton Park, Johannesburg
I’m a hairstylist and a designer, and I am currently working with IBQY5 which is a group of 5 young women, 4 Lesbians and 1 transwoman born-frees working on documenting other LGBTI born-frees in the townships.
I live with my mother, my elder brother Tumelo Menu, younger brother Tebogo Menu and Reneilwe Menu who is my younger sister.
I play netball on my spare time and help my mother with designs of the dresses I usually wear at beauty pageants and other events I attend.
My first pageant was in September 2013 and it was Miss Gay Daveyton.
I didn’t win it, I won the title Miss Photogenic which was implemented especially for me, it wasn’t planned as part of the pageant titles for the evening
My love to enter beauty pageants actually came after I entered my first pageant and I enjoyed the attention and it is when I realized that there is more to pageants than just looking pretty on stage
Lesiba Mothibe was my inspiration for my first pageant
I still look up to Lesiba Mothibe even today
My mother has been my inspiration throughout my pageants journey. hoo nkosyami…
Mhmmm, winning means achieving my goals
Winning Miss Jozi meant I’ve reached another level on my pageants journey and that means I’m getting closer to what I want to achieve.
I want to be one of the most well-known and inspirational transwomen models in the globe
No was my biggest competition at Miss Gay Jozi because I believed I had to bring out the best in me and I did just that hence the win.
Hoo! My challenges at Miss Gay Jozi were the fact I left one shoe and left my wigs at home and that meant I had to work with what I had.
I don’t know what went through my mind when I won Miss Gay Jozi, I was too excited. I didn’t expect to win, I thought I had chances of winning but having not attended the rehearsals I wasn’t sure anymore.
My prizes as the overall winner of Miss Gay Jozi, I received R6000.00 cash prize, a designer dress, a watch, from NWJ, CD hamper worth R6000.00, Club Simply Blue bar voucher.
Some of the titles I have won previously includes:
Miss Gay Daveyton Photogenic 2013,
Miss Uthingo 2013, Miss Simply Bue 2013.
2nd Princess, Miss Gay Soweto 2013
2nd Princess, Miss Valentine 2014
1st Princess, Miss Valentine 2014 – Miss Personality,
Miss Gay Queen of Queens 2014
2nd Princess and now Miss Gay Jozi 2014.
My mother is very happy with my achievements and she still wishes I achieve more
Sadly my father is not part of our lives so I do not know what he would have said seeing me achieve so much
I know some of my peers are happy for me but as we all know not everyone will be happy when you achieve your goals especially if it is the same thing they want
During my reign I want to make this tittle bigger than it is now, I want to challenge the next queen to work even harder than I did. More visibility for such beauty pageants is also my ultimate goal.
My dream in life is to be one of the most inspirational transwoman in in the globe.
What is your favourite magazine?
I love fashion so much so it will have to be ELLE Magazine
What is the biggest mistake you have done in your life?
Not believing in myself yet people knew I could achieve more than I thought I could.
High heels or flat shoes?
High heels, I just love high heels
Favourite TV programme?
The Link, presented By Lerato Kganyago on SABC1
New York or Dubai?
Both, I’ve always wanted to be there! Shopping in Dubai and with New York, I just want to see the place!
Happiness or Money?
Actress or Presenter?
None! Kidding, maybe actress
Prawns or Fish
Fish, I find prawns creepy, they look like cockroaches
Cabaret or Motivational Speaking?
Motivational Speaking, I just feel there are people who needs the motivation I got from the people around me.
Camera or iPad?
iPad, why should I carry a camera where the iPad has both.
To connect with Miss Tee
Facebook: Thabo Tee Menu