Interview: Vicki Fourie

Vicki Fourie – South Africa’s own Miss Deaf South Africa 2009/2010 – was crowned 2nd Princess at the Miss Deaf International 2010 last year in Las Vegas. This year Vicki will participate in the Miss Deaf World 2011, which will take place in Prague, Czech Rep. from the 1st till 11th of July 2011. Girls-4-God chatted with Vicki to get a glimpse at what exactly motivated her to participate in beauty pageants…
1. Were you born without hearing, or did it develop later on in life?
When I was a baby, I had a high fever (just like Helen Keller) and we think that’s what caused my hearing loss. When I was 2 years old, I didn’t respond when my family called my name, and after extensive tests at the hospital, it was confirmed that I have 97% hearing loss. This came as a big shock for the family, especially my parents. However, my parents didn’t give up on me after receiving the news. Instead of looking at how big the problem was, they said, ‘How big is our God?’ I’m grateful that they reacted this way, for it enabled me to learn how to speak like a hearing person and read lips. I even went to a hearing English school, despite Afrikaans (a Dutch dialect) being my home language. There were many obstacles along the way, but I overcame them by believing that ‘Courage isn’t a gift, it’s a decision.’

2. Many people in your situation feel that they can’t achieve much in life, what would you say to them to convince them otherwise?
There are people who wallow in self-pity and bitterness, and that doesn’t bring you very far in life... Stop complaining – you are alive, and your disability and/or circumstances is nothing compared to what you have – the gift of life. The world doesn’t owe you a thing – it’s your responsibility to make something out of your life.

3. What made you enter beauty pageants?
The beauty pageant world came onto me unexpectedly. When I was in matric, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. There were 3 or 4 people who prophesied that I was going to be like Esther of the Bible – I was going to use my beauty to save a nation. At first, I didn’t quite understand (I thought I needed to marry a prince, and South Africa does not have royalty!). I heard about the Miss Deaf South Africa, and realized that Esther also partook in a pageant: the Miss Persia pageant. I took this as a sure sign that I must enter. It’s important to remember that beauty should not be our main focus in life. However, God used Esther’s beauty to save a nation… I know that the Lord gave me beauty for a reason. It’s always been my choice: will I use it to glorify God or bring myself fame?

4. Have you had a low point in your life? And if so, how did you rise above it to become successful?
When I was 14 years old, I was accidentally shot with a gun – the bullet entered me at the back of my shoulder and exited in the front. This accident changed my whole life – in a good way. Before this happened, I always thought that my life was about ME, about what I wanted, what I needed. I also struggled with depression. After the accident, my attitude towards life changed. I decided not to be selfish anymore and not to feel sorry for myself. Life owes you nothing – it’s your responsibility to make something out of it. The more I shared my story with others, the more I received healing. When something traumatic happens to you, you tend to keep it inside. It’s not the right thing to do – if you don’t talk about it, you will die within yourself.
5. What are your goals and ambitions in life?
As a kid, I knew that God had a great purpose for my life. I just didn’t know what that purpose would be. As I grew older, I realized that life is not about what I want and what I need, it’s about others. Whenever I meet people, and they tell me that I have changed their lives, it’s at that moment where I know that I’m right on track in my life. It’s not about how many times I’m on TV, or how many articles is written about me – it’s about the people.

6. What advice would you give other young people who have to overcome obstacles?
Be bold – do not be shy. Always ask questions. Be curious about everything and everything – the more you learn, the more you realize you still have a lot to learn. The world owes you nothing – it’s your responsibility to make something of it. It doesn’t help feeling angry towards God or people about your disability or circumstances. Believe me, it’s a waste of time. Find out what are your talents and gifts, and focus on them. Embrace who you are. You’re disability does not need to define you… Be courageous!
Email Vicki: vicki@247mail.co.za , or visit her blog http://www.vickifourie.blogspot.com/ . Follow her on Twitter (@vickifourie) to see how she does at the Miss Deaf World 2011 in Prague.

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