With his striking good looks, sincerity and touching life story, an intrepid young journalist from Northpine reached the Top 50 of this year’s Mr South Africa finals.
Chilton Mellem entered the competition to share his life story in order to encourage others.
“I did not live an easy life and I feel through sharing my story I can hearten others who are going through a tough time,” he said last week.
“My parents could not afford to give me a tertiary education and I therefore had to work to put myself through varsity,” he says.
This he did by answering the telephones for his head of department at the institution where he studied during his first year of studies.
“I also worked 12 hour shifts in a call centre during my holidays. It was really hard and I sometimes felt like giving up, but I am glad I didn’t because today I have a degree which no one can take away from me.” He graduated with a Bachelor Degree of Technology in journalism from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology last week.
“There have been other challenges I have faced in life and I think I will be able to empathise with a lot of people,” he says. Chilton currently works as a journalist and in his free time enjoys fencing, theatre and literature.
“My passions are all things creative and I live for the arts. My love for opera and the fine arts comes from my late father who was an opera singer. I also love good literature and poetry. My father taught me how to write a poem when I was 14 and by the time I was 16, one of my poems was published in an anthology called Facets of life”.
The community can help Chilton motivate others through his life experiences.
“I believe the Mr SA organisation will be able to give me a platform to help others and will put me in a position to uplift people where needed, especially the youth,” he says.
After reaching the top 50, finalists will be given assignments and tasks and people will be able to vote for their favourite finalists.
The final 12 will be announced during a special television broadcast later this year.
Chilton says he has a soft spot for his local community. “I joined a local organisation called Be the Difference, which is mainly a feeding scheme for those in need. I am also a member of the Brackenfell Lion’s Club. In my teens I joined the Alpha Leos, so I thought it natural to continue my service to the community as an adult. I was taught that charity begins at home and I am glad to serve my community. I also worked as an intern at TygerBurger, reporting on community issues, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I hope to get back into community reporting again, ” he adds.
To vote for Chilton SMS MRSA034 to 47439 or rate his pictures on the Mr South Africa website at www.mrsa.co.za
by Desiree Rorke (TygerBurger)