Supreme Queen Earth Global x Gauteng Lifestyle
Monique Eloff Q&A
- Can you share more details about your background and the transformative journey that led you to become the Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa Winner for 2024?
I am an includer, an overcomer and a change maker. An includer by choice, a change-maker by purpose and an overcomer by grace!
Born in Naboomspruit, brought up in Randfontein, Westrand. I am the youngest child. I have an elder sister and Mother. My father passed away in December 2022, it still feels so recent and it still hurts really bad. After my dad passed away, I again felt identitiless, without a job and without a dad in a space of 4 months.
I am a wife to a very supporting, loving and compassionate husband; he is not only my rock but my inspiration and my greatest fan! I have 4 little dachshunds, two are adopted and so adorable, they have better manners than my very own. I enjoy nature and tranquillity. As a couple, we get to enjoy the wind blowing through our hair when we go for a breakfast run now and again on the motorbike, we enjoy coffee and we often find an excuse to go for coffee.
But beyond the dress is a woman that know what it feels like to feel like you’re not wanted, not welcomed, not ready, not chosen, overlooked and left out. I know what it feels like to feel unwanted and not welcomed, for me that feeling started in my mother’s womb. My mother’s deep desire to have a boy and to give my father a son, made little room for me. To mom it felt like she gave birth to disappointment not being able to have a boy that will pass the family name forward, a disappointment I could feel and one I wore on my face! I know what an orphaned heart feels like, I experienced this as the tender developing age of 11 when my parents got divorced, an experience that left me traumatized, confused and insecure. I know what it feels like to be a slave to addiction when your deep desire for approval becomes your compass of life. I know what it feels like to feel stripped of your womanhood. At the young age of 21 I was diagnosed with PCOS, as a partner and wife, society might label we now as barren but I am definitely not childless. I am a mother to a foster child in my own unique way and she is like a breath of fresh air for me and my husband. I know what it feels like to be dependent on insulin, 5 years ago I got diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic even though I’m healthy, I exercise and no one in my family has it I’ve experienced disappointment, one after another. In primary school I worked so hard to become the head girl but ended up by chosen as a deputy head-girl for sport. In Highschool, I worked to become president of our school but I got selected as Vice-president. In corporate I served tirelessly to become the Head of the department and the first female head in the field I was in. I had 9 male Operational Heads over a period of 15 years and I wanted to be the first lady, unfortunately I always ended up second best, or so it felt!
Today I can honestly say that my wounds have given me wisdom. I have a gift of connection. My story is relatable to so many people, especially women out there. My story has given me the permission to step into my power and in turn change lives, by helping others step into their power. Beauty from ashes! Today I get to empower women through my business “ME”, by awakening their true beauty! I get to empower young girls and more importantly I get to be the woman I needed when life happened to me! Through my legacy project, Girl School, I get to lead by example. Leadership is all about being able to take responsibility for finding the potential in people and the courage to develop that potential. I get to solidify a healthy identity in these girls in a world that currently walking identity less. I get to instil maturity and self-worth in a way where young girls will consider their options but will make wise decisions that will propel their future forward!
My relationship with God is everything to me. For a very long time I’ve felt like a fraud, using the God given air in my lungs to tell my own story, my way, leaving out the detail to try and protect my self-image, the false self-image I never had, but wanted to protect. But today my story starts with Him, the Great I Am. I am a servant at heart, a teacher and leader in spirit and a director of my own company by profession, Me By Monique Eloff, Image, Makeup and Mentoring, which is still in nappy stages. I have a degree in Business Management and Credit Management, I have 15 years leadership experience and approximately 5 years mentoring experience as part of my corporate journey. I recently qualified as a professional makeup artist and I am currently busy with my Image consulting qualification. Awakening your beauty is My Business, my passion and my calling!
In February 2023 I started seeing a Psychiatrist and professional mentor, and he challenged me to find something monumental to solidify my change and decision. I bought myself a ring, a crown, to be specific and I made a promise to God and myself, that I Am finally walking away from fear with Godly confidence. Earlier this year I saw all the announcements on social media to enter for Mrs SA, for a moment I actually considered entering, but my fear of being rejected crept in, the fear of rejection by people close to me, because pageantry is often frowned upon and believed to be everything it is not, so I left it. I made it a prayer request and behold, a few weeks later I received a nomination for Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa 2023 pageant. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and I immediately knew that I wanted to accept the nomination. The ring on my finger was testament of a promise I made and I knew it is here where I will start walking with that exact confidence I have always searched for. I discussed this with my husband to find out what he thought, and with hubby being my biggest cheerleader, he literally cheered me on to accept the nomination and enter.
- You mentioned overcoming addiction to weight loss pills as a significant part of your journey. How did you navigate through this challenging period, and what role did it play in shaping your resilience?
Substance-related and addictive disorders are complex and often and can result in significant consequences for the individual. The biological processes that cause addiction involve the reward pathways in the brain. A person whose brain’s reward circuitry has not altered as a result of addiction experiences positive feelings in relation to generally rewarding behaviors, such as exercising, being with family, or consuming delicious food. These should all make a person feel good. I associated growth with winning, being the best and achieving the best results and that made me anxious, nervous and fearful. I associated second or third place with defeat failure, my brain was wired in a destructive manner, in a way that created blocks called self-imposed limitations cemented by fear, anxiety and plenty of self-doubt. My addiction started after going through a major relationship breakup and my inability to deal with the pain, the rejection and the fact that I was not “chosen” made me receptive to substance abuse. But the underlying factors to my destructive addiction actually stems from my very sensitive soul and trauma related experienced with divorce, defeat, rejection and winning. I struggled to be authentic, I could not connect with myself, let alone compliment myself or love myself.
Why is it that so many women battle with self-love, self-worth, lacking maturity and still trying to find the Real Me? It’s because the foundation lacks the core pillars of Identity, maturity and self-worth. People might describe me as resilient, but in truth, I was at war with myself with 37 years, so today I will be authentic in saying I am in fact not as resilient. Bouncing back is one thing but actually addressing the problem is another. Only at the age of 38 can I honestly say I’ve managed to overcome. I am actually breaking all barriers to become. I am free, this is me and it’s beautiful. I own both my successes and my failures and everything in-between. I have finally managed to silence the voice in my head that have so wrongly defined me.
I am tenacious, and I thank my tenacity for never giving up on me!
- You made a bold decision to leave you 15-year corporate career and embark on a journey of self-discovery that eventually led you to the Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa pageant. What motivated you to take this leap of faith, and how did this decision contribute to your personal growth?
I served in Corporate for 15 years until I realized that corporate was no longer serving me. The sum of my total life experiences has disempowered me! My self-imposed limitations created many barriers to overcome. I know what it feels like to be overlooked despite your best efforts to be recognised, included and rewarded. I was earmarked, groomed and ultimately ready for the biggest position in my corporate career, just to be rejected because I was not ready. I made it my mission to invest in myself and to become “ready” not realizing that my rejection will become redirection. With the help of a professional coach, we started working on uncovering the woman behind the dress. I continued in corporate after this initial rejection for another 2 years but I then felt called into something deeper and personal, a place where I could live out my passion and be creative, and so I left without knowing what I would do next. My leap of faith has created a butterfly effect in my family, my sisterhood, my relationships and my business. To explain this notion, The butterfly effect is the idea that small, seemingly trivial events may ultimately result in something with much larger consequences – in other words, they have non-linear impacts on very complex systems. For instance, when a butterfly flaps its wings in India, that tiny change in air pressure could eventually cause a tornado in Iowa.
It is my stubborn faith that’s my saving grace. I kept on challenging God to reveal the reason I am on this earth and to use me as a vessel to inspire greatness. I was tired of mediocre faith and so my growth-game really started, I guess, when you are in a place where of deep dependence on God, your eagerness to succeed becomes like a thirst that cannot be quenched. I pray that I remain so dependant on God that I will thirst for Him, always!
Me becoming a Queen is God at move in my life. The ring on my finger manifested in an actual crown. Where I am today is all divine interventions. But I guess I must have done something right? Obedience. Obedience brings blessings. Through my acts of obedience, I am a living testimony and that’s my purpose. To use my story to His Glory and to step into my own God-given power and to empower.
- You reflect on the importance of self-acceptance and embracing one’s essence. Can you elaborate on the moments and realisations that contributed to your understanding of yourself during this transformative experience?
Understanding my Essence was in fact A Deep Dive into the Core of my Existence. In order to become I had to unbecome. We are the sum total of our experiences. Everyone has a story. Your story consists of various chapters that span the course of your lifetime. Those chapters run the extent from happy to sad, traumatic to transformational, and everything in between. Your stories are what make up who you think you are and it’s what determines how you show up in this world. I had to rewire my brain, retrain the way I thought about myself and I had to come in complete alignment and harmony with God. So I did, I wanted to find the real Me, and I did! I pulled in all the help I could get. Today, I am finally free from fear! I have a covenant with God, myself and my future. I walked away from fear, towards Faith, with Godly confidence. The ring on my finger reminds me of the promise and keeps me accountable. The moment you give yourself permission to change, to learn and unlearn, that’s the moment you start empowering yourself to become what you ought to be. Applied learning combined with intention, is a perfect blend! By letting go of the things that’s no longer serving you well you can serve from a full cup. I had to realize that I am not defined by my past. Success and significance are not dependant on each other. I am no longer defined by my wounds, I define them, and the moment you speak from a scar, you speak from a healed wound that has no impact on you whatsoever. There’s a beautiful quote that says, your pain is most likely not your fault, but your healing is 100% your responsibility. I have healed and my wounds have given me wisdom and my mess has turned into my message.
- The press release mentions that your faced challenges during the pageant, including the loss of your father and moments of self-doubt. How did you find strength in the face of adversity, and what lessons did these challenges teach you about self-inclusion and personal growth?
I am a born includer, but the biggest mistake I made was excluding myself. Inclusion starts with self. As long as you feel excluded, nothing and no-one can make you feel included. I recall my very first workshop as a Semi-finalists of Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa in March 2023. One of the speakers imprinted a deep message in my heart, she said: “When you enter a room and you feel like you don’t belong, that’s when you stay”. So, I did. But for me, the journal was very personal, I had to learn how to make room for me.
One must realize that your identity is affected by numerous things. Our family, friends and loved ones, our location and opportunities, the media, life experiences, trauma, death, birth, marriage, career and so forth. If we feel isolated, out of place or unaccepted in the collective identity, we may come into conflict with our personal identity. I realized that through my life experiences I went though a number of identity crisis’s and again in a space of 5 month a had to deal with the fact that I left the corporate sector voluntarily, I lost my financial independence, I lost my father and I got nominated to enter a beauty pageant that was out of the ordinary for me. I felt heavily conflicted and I was walking identity less. The pageant awakened permission within me, permission to be, and to be unapologetically me. Permission to step into my own power and to empower. The slogan and hashtag for Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa is “Unapologetically You”, so because of you, I get to be me, unapologetically me.
- As the Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa Winner for 2024, how do you plan to use you title to positively impact her your community, and what values do you hope to convey through your reign?
The biggest pandemic we are currently faced with is a loss in Identity in society. Social media creates an exclusionary effect on users based on the ways they are basically forced to watch our loved ones and friends (unintentionally) exclude them in certain online interactions. We are struggling to marry unity and diversity, inclusion and exclusion, but we don’t realise the power of the most powerful medium currently called social media literally being the culprit of the worsened state of sense of self! We need to take action and that’s why I’ve stepped forward. My vision addresses the biological needs of young girls, the impact of puberty in a changing world. Through my passion project “Girl School”, we focus on a syllabus that’s focussed on cultivating a confident teen, with a solidified identity in Christ, that will leave her feeling capable to stand up against bullies, competent to have her seat at a table, and skilfully navigate her way through life making wise decisions and teaching her how to fall in love with the girl staring back at her in the mirror, learn to love her, respect her and carry her forward, unapologetically! To me that’s true Beauty Awakened! Girl School is a transformative yet empowering finishing school for tweens, pre-teens and teens that teaches you how to showcase yourself from a position of a solidified identity, expressing self-love and love for others, the value of education and the teaching and application of life and social skills. It’s a platform that awakens your inner beauty, that will in turn compliment your outer beauty!
My role in society is to bring about change in a way that feels natural, real and right. I inspire by living an unfiltered life. I am a resourceful woman but I also know my own limitations and strengths. I lead by example by stepping up and taking responsibility. I leverage of people’s strengths; I call on my resources to impact society but I also challenge my circle, my network, my family and our readers to step into their own change-making power. You can make a meaningful impact through Corporate Social Responsibility and invest in the lives of tweens, pre-teens and teens by blessing them with a life changing Girl School experience, or you can fund a girl or girls and receive a Section 18A certificate in turn, it’s the biggest investment you can ever make! Girl School is for every girl, and not for the fortunate few. My hope is that through this initiative we can one day implement a 12-year compulsory subject in all schools for boys and girls, a programme on growing from tween to teen to young adult. A syllabus you literally grow into and as you grow, you grow into deeper and more sensitive topics that linked to current societal pressures and trends, with empowering ways on how to navigate yourself though life with the overall objective of solidifying the core pillars required in any healthy young child, and that is the pillars of identity, maturity and self-worth.
- Monique emphasises the importance of authenticity and self-improvement in building trust and garnering support, drawing parallels with the entrepreneurial journey. Can you provide examples from your experience that highlight these principles?
Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa 2023 pageant is all for women empowerment and supports entrepreneurial business women. But I needed to find out what empowerment meant for me, and so the path to discovery started. Initially, the pageant journey really scared me. At times I felt awkward, other times I caught myself comparing and benchmarking, and I even wanted to pull out of the pageant, until. Approximately half way through the pageant something changed. As I started engaging with our pageant sponsors, I literally felt my True beauty Awakened. I felt drawn in and it made me curious. I started asking myself, Monique, what are you good at and what will happen if you gave yourself permission to Walk the walk and talk the talk, pave the way and lead by example as a Queen? I know that I’m creative and I’m obsessed with leadership, I’ve got a degree in Business Management, 15 years’ experience in Corporate Leadership, so why not start my own thing, My Way? So, I did! I made a decision to leverage of the platform by upskilling myself in a way that would exude my passion and purpose, and so I gave myself permission to step into my power. It was here were I discovered the essence of my power and that once you’ve stepped into your personal power, you’re in a position to empower. I gave birth to my business called Me by Monique Eloff, Image, Makeup and mentoring as well as my legacy project, Girl School. I place where now that I know better, I do better, one girl at a time, one woman at a time!
The permission I gave myself was liberating. I gave myself permission to silence voices in my head that have so wrongly defined me. I gave myself permission to break all barriers in my pursuit to become. I permitted myself to step into my own God-given power and I permitted myself the opportunity to empower. I permitted myself to be me, Unapologetically!
- What advice can you offer to aspiring individuals based on your own journey, and how does would you encourage them to embrace their unique paths and God-given power without waiting for external validation?
Understand what power means to YOU! Then once you understand this, you will be able to see how through your power you will be in a position to empower. Write your own mission and vision statement and ascertain the legacy you want to leave behind. Next, pull in all the help you can get. A mentor, a life coach, get the required qualification if needed, because confidence also means competence! Last but most important, consult God. In the end, everything else can be in place, but if your heart is not in the right place with God, you might derail yourself and the road can get pretty bumpy!
Power means Permission
Give yourself permission to step into your power, and see how the girl inside of you will Empower You!
Love Me ( Monique Eloff )