Ashton Jansen, of Century City, who was recently chosen as a Mrs South Africa semi-finalist, says she wants to inspire and motivate underprivileged children.
The 33-year-old wife and mother of two, grew up in Newfields, near Hanover Park, and later the family moved to Parow Valley after her father landed a job there. But then he was retrenched, and Ashton’s mother became the family of five’s sole breadwinner.
She recalls an evening when she overheard her parents talking about their financial struggles and decided to take a few coins out of her money box to buy bread.
Despite the family’s hardships, Ashton’s parents managed to send her and her brothers to good schools, although there were times when the fees went unpaid and they had to make arrangements to pay off the debt, she says.
Ashton says she never let these problems stop her from pursuing her goals. She went on to study accounting science and she holds a project-management qualification. She took out loans and did odd jobs to pay for her studies, she says.
“There’s more to life than a disadvantaged background, it’s what you make of yourself and believing in yourself is key.”
She is the senior manager at an investment firm and says her experience has taught her a lot about bursaries and student loans.
She has given motivational talks at schools, telling of how she found ways to study further even though money was tight.
“The children are inspired by my story, and I have received some positive feedback. I am also mentoring a single mother who wants to finish her studies this year.”
Ashton says she took part in the pageant because she has always been the only woman among many men in the workplace.
“We are getting away from the perception that we are the cooks and baby raisers. Women are the future.”
The pageant helps women who are wives and mothers to be better versions of themselves and it is giving her a chance to change many lives, she says.
Mrs South Africa will be crowned in November 2021, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed.
To vote for Ashton, SMS Ashton Jansen to 35959 or like the Mrs SA page on Facebook and like her picture for your vote to count. SMSes cost R3 and free SMSes do not apply.