Share This Article
Congratulations Ashley Warren Eddy on being a key player in MR South Africa 2016
About Your Journey to Mr South Africa
How did you get here?
Reaching the point of Mr. South Africa Finalist started long before the actual competition. It was a childhood dream to reach a level of success that incorporates personal development and the development and mentoring of others. Throughout my life I have always strived to be the best version of myself, to work hard to develop myself in order to assist in the development of others in need of assistance. Last year in 2015 I decided that the time to make a huge impact in the country for fellow citizens was now! I took it upon myself to constructively criticize myself and find out what my strengths and weaknesses are. Once I came to know this I started focusing on strengthening my weaker areas of my life in order to build more character to become a better person overall. This allowed me to feel more comfortable to reach out to a lot more individuals in need and to stand up to the social problems affecting the people in and around my community. I decided to then enter myself into Mr. South Africa 2016 in order to give a voice to those who don’t have one or that have been silenced by violence and to assist in any way to promote the theoretical and practical learning in schools for young students who are willing to learn.
What would it mean to you to win Mr SA?
It would be a childhood dream come true. A story of a young boy who grew up poor to become a success and too show that consistency, hard work, dedication and persistence to follow a huge, almost unachievable dream can be achieved if you have the correct attitude, mind-set and a never give up determination to achieve it. It would also mean I can direct the needed attention to so many issues our country is facing today such as: Homelessness, woman and child abuse, drug abuse, HIV & AIDS victims, human trafficking and shedding light on the much needed attention on student development in schools which is a big passion of mine.
When did you know you wanted to be a …?
I first knew I wanted to be a beckon of light and guidance very early in my teenage years as I grew up with a very dynamic and multi-racial group of friends. I was welcomed into their homes without judgment of the colour of my skin and difference of beliefs or language. I knew then that I wanted to help others unify to become a more accepting country of brothers and sisters. The chaos of racism and the hatred involved can be solved through acceptance and love for one another and having a broader understanding of each other, this then eliminates the judgment of another and brings us all together regardless of colour and race to become one people.
What do you love most about your job?
Being a qualified Millwright in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and a professional model and hopefully soon to be television presenter has many aspects to love. The engineering field is filled with scientific information that can be utilized on many applications but what I love the most regarding engineering is the creating and designing of new mechanisms and projects that can be utilized in a practical and smart working environment.
What I love about the modeling industry is that it grows you as an individual. It builds your confidence to handle constructive criticism and to improve your public speaking which overall allows you to communicate more efficiently with a wide range of diverse individuals from all walks of life. You meet incredible people with such a zest for life.
What was your first job and how did it help you get to where you are now?
My first job was becoming a waitron at an Italian restaurant. Being a waitron teaches one such great people and etiquette skills. How it assisted me to reach the point I am now is by increasing my awareness of the correct form of etiquette and how to socially communicate with individuals from different back rounds and class. It taught me manners and built my character which I still use till this day.
Do you have a mentor? I have many mentors and for many different parts in my life as they all have principles I use that create a foundation and back bone to who I am. The first being Jesus Christ , for his incredible world changing guidance and for sacrificing himself for us so that we can live forever.
The second being Bruce Lee, a childhood mentor, having the determination and skill to develop himself into what he mentally pictured, his resilience going through so many hardships over social judgment of his race, for having the mental and physical strength to achieve after breaking his back and for overcoming the hurdles that were set before him regarding acting and directing his own movies which was a dream of his.
The third being president Nelson Mandela and president FW de Klerk for having the overwhelming strength to bring freedom to a country strangled by racism, violence and oppression. President FW de Klerk took the responsibility on himself to free the county and President Nelson Mandela took it upon himself to unify and bring the country together as one and defeat the previous government (the apartheid regime) and its laws in the hope for peace in our beautiful country of South Africa.
The fourth and final being Arnold Schwarzenegger. The reason for this choice is simple, this gentlemen has pure determination and vision to achieve. Being the most successful body builder in history is an incredible accomplishment including the achievement of becoming a Hollywood movie star and becoming a former Governor of California. Arnold grew up in a strict home in Austria. His father was an Austrian police chief and instilled values of respect and discipline into Arnold which he used in his later years to his advantage in his competitions, movie career and his political life. His vision, discipline and courage to mold his future is incredible and is what I look up to as a mentor.
What three things/people/ROLES have contributed most to your success?
1: To have gone through so many hardships in life have allowed me to gain vital skills and has built my character that money cannot buy. You have had to go through those experiences to have learnt those valuable life lessons to become the individual you are today.
2: The few people that have supported me through all hardships and trials. These people give me guidance, constructive criticism and words of encouragement under times of stress.
3: The many roles and circumstances I have been through and have worked have taught me to treat every day as it was my last and to forgive the past as it is the past and look forward to the future with excitement and a vision.
What one thing have you learned that has served you well over the years?
Too be truthful to yourself and others.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
I always challenge myself. Every day is a challenge a new task to overcome. Sitting idle is wastage of ones immense power to make change and create a positive change. So to be motivated to be the best you can be every day and knowing you are doing everything possible to make a constructive change in a person’s life is a great motivator for me.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Leadership isn’t something requested from an individual it is what an individual naturally has. My “style” of leadership is a very big team driven style so that it must incorporate all individuals from all walks of life, culture and race. Leading is a shared responsibility because not one person knows the correct way of every situation. Having an open ear and mind to others is how leadership is meant to be hosted as we are all leaders in our own ways of life. We all have strengths and weaknesses and with a team working together with open communication a team can achieve.
What leadership qualities do you most admire?
Kindness and a gentle voice.
What community projects mean something to you and are you involved in any?
I currently work with and represent many community projects and organizations ,here are a few I am currently active within:
- The Hillcrest AIDS Trust Centre: A center for woman and children suffering with HIV/AIDS.
- The Mentorship Program: The mentorship of teenagers to teach them valuable life skills.
- Project Dignity: The education of health and the distribution of sanitary pads to underprivileged girls in rural areas of South Africa. Based on woman empowerment and education.
- The Primary Schools Project: The teaching of young students of how to live healthy lifestyles and how to grow and produce their own organic food.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Set yourself big goals and dream big. Commit yourself to being the best version of yourself to help raise others up out of poverty and difficulties and to believe in yourself no matter what hardships or circumstances come your way.
How do you get balance in your life?
Performing random acts of kindness to a stranger, spontaneous acts and taking time out to focus on my goals and dreams.
What “rules” do you live by? Discipline, consistency, dream big, work hard and smart to achieve your dreams, never stop being yourself even when hurtful words my come your way, never give up and most importantly, to be yourself at all times.
What three things could you not live without? Food , water and oxygen. (Just joking) . I love food so the first must be food, secondly must be the gym and swimming as I love both and they have been a part of my life since I can remember and lastly, the kindness and love from those most close to me as they support me in times of need, celebrate in times of joy and guide me in times of hardships.
Who is your inspiration when it comes to what you do?
God is my inspiration in all I do.
What are your other passions, besides being fabulous?
I love art as I am a portrait drawer and designer. I love teaching others how to live a healthy life away from drugs and the abuse of alcohol.
If you had to see me during my spare time you would probably catch me in the garden gardening as my joy comes from planting and caring for plants and vegetables.
What is Number One Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
My immediate goal is to win the prestigious Mr. South Africa 2016 title in order to fulfill my lives passion to help people in need. The goal after Mr. South Africa should I win is to hone my skills into the television and film industry.
Motivation for Others
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?
Connect with me via these social media handles:
Facebook: Ashley Starrin Eddy
Youtube: Search – Ashley Eddy
ADVICE & STUFF
Words to live by?
Believe in yourself, you are powerful and can achieve anything you apply yourself to. With self believe, discipline, consistency and perseverance you can overcome any challenge. Be yourself at all times. Don’t be afraid to accept constructive criticism. Be kind and mindful of others feelings and always share knowledge and a helping hand to others even when not asked. Be polite and soft spoken and loud spoken for what you stand for. Be accepting of others no matter the differences of culture, race, colour or language. We are all children of God and made equally so respect one another as if he/she is your family member.
What’s your superpower/ special agent / secret weapon / mojo?
Haven’t really thought about this before, but if I had to have a special super power it would to convince the world to stop polluting and killing the earth as it is our home and there is only one Earth.
Words of advice for people aspiring to be where you are?
Put in the hard work, get out of your comfort zone, start attending events and meeting like-minded people. Grow as an individual by gaining knowledge and using that knowledge in a practical manner for positive change. Be yourself in everything you do as there is only one of you so best the best version of yourself.
Sharing is caring…insert expert advice here:
To compare yourself to others is a brutal attack on yourself. We are all unique in our own way so don’t be ashamed of it.
What is the “thing” that (could, should, we need) empowers community?
A community that speaks up. A community that communicates together peacefully to resolve problems. A community that shares words of kindness to each other and assistance.
Who? Where? What?
A big shout out to all my sponsors:
KZN TOP MODEL SA, OCA ACTING STUDIOS, SIMPLY MODELS, MEDIA KING, HOI POLLOI Hair designs, Karen Monk owner of Karenmonkklijnstra, Caribbean Tan SA, Falco Milano Sunglasses, The MR. South Africa Management team and event organizers that have put so much work into the competition and to all the finalists for all their efforts and amazing work throughout the year and many many more…