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Sheena Boniface to take part in Miss Deaf Africa

bonifaceTwenty-five-year-old Sheena Boniface will represent Seychelles and the deaf community at the forthcoming Miss Deaf Africa Pageant which will take place between July 23 and 31 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ms Boniface, who has hearing impairment and uses hearing aids, is a teacher at the school for deaf pupils at Au Cap.

“I have been using hearing aids since I was in secondary school,” Ms Boniface said. This was after she started to lose the ability to hear from her right ear.

Ms Boniface recalled that it all started with her having problems to communicate with others but now that she has accepted her condition and using aids, she is doing fine.

She noted that at first she felt ashamed and embarrassed but gradually got use to the situation.

“I am now confident enough and with encouragement from Anita Gardner, the chairperson of the Association for People with Hearing Impairment (Aphi), I am really looking forward to taking part in the pageant which I think will be a great experience for me,” Ms Boniface said.

Ms Boniface said such an opportunity will also enable her to make new friends, share ideas and be an ambassador for Seychelles.

“I will not miss such a great opportunity to showcase my country and if I win Miss Deaf Africa I will do my utmost to help educate others especially at school level on the importance of preserving our hearing and most importantly to respect people with hearing impairment,” she stressed.

Ms Boniface, who firmly believes in promoting human diversity, said she is looking forward to this exciting and challenging event during which she will brush shoulders with other deaf people from all over Africa.

She expressed heartfelt gratitude to all her sponsors, family and friends for their support.

“Thank you all for believing in me and in my abilities,” she said.

Ms Gardner said the pageant is a platform where young deaf women are empowered.

“It is an activity which open doors of opportunities for them. Seychelles has always done well in recent pageants, winning the Second Princess title. This year we also hope to do well again. At the moment Sheena is going through numerous grooming sessions and she is rehearsing a musical piece which she will perform during the final,” Ms Gardner pointed out.

Following her experience at the Miss Deaf Africa, Ms Boniface will have the opportunity to take part in the Miss Deaf World Pageant next year, Ms Gardner said.

She added that meanwhile grooming sessions for Jude Marcel, who will be taking part in the Mr and Miss Deaf World Pageant to take place in Prague between July 8 and 21, are well underway.

Aphi wishes to thank all its supporters and sponsors namely Air Seychelles for sponsoring the air tickets and Miriam Hoareau for providing Sheena with her evening gown.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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