Fikile Cele Angel Miss South Africa dreams
Baby Abandoned in Cardboard Box Inspires Others with Dreams of Becoming Miss South Africa. Photo: Fikile Cele

A radio DJ from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, has bravely shared her heartbreaking – and heartwarming – real-life story that is inspiring South Africans across the nation. Angel’s life may have sadly begun in a cardboard box… but now she’s dreaming of becoming Miss South Africa, and vibrantly showing others how to think outside the box.

Fikile ‘Angel’ Cele, a DJ on Sunrise FM 103.4, has been cyber-bullied and criticised for not being “Zulu enough”, for not pronouncing her own surname with a “black enough” accent. Last weekend she acknowledged some of the “unfortunate comments” made about her and promised to reply by sharing her personal story.

On Thursday evening, the 22-year-old was finally ready to use her voice and share her story. This is it (shared here with Angel’s kind permission)…

Dear South Africa,

My name is Fikile Cele, a 22 year old from Durban, Chatsworth.

It may come as a surprise to many that I don’t speak isiZulu, neither do I understand my mother tongue. My mother was 15 or 16 when she fell pregnant with me and ran away from her home in Johannesburg to Durban because she was afraid of her family at the time. I was born at the RK Khan’s hospital on the 5 of April 1999.

I was sadly abandoned in a box outside a factory in Chatsworth – the only thing that was left with me in that box was my birth certificate, hence the name Fikile Cele and the only known thing of my identity. I was found by my adoptive mom, who is an Indian woman, and at that point I was adopted as a 2-month-old baby thereafter.

My mother soon came to look for me and was given visitation rights through my adoptive mom.

I don’t remember my biological mother, as she passed away when I was just a mere 5 years old. The only memory I have of my biological mother is a brown coffin box and a green mat over it descending into the ground of her grave. This is the only thing I have of anything relative to my identity and my birth at this point; other than that I have no other recollective memory of biological family, friends or any of that sort.

I have overcome many struggles in my life with some being that I was told that I don’t belong here, and with the many illnesses that I also went through as a young child, I learned that with God nothing is impossible. My struggles with my health back then are completely and utterly nothing to (do with how) you see me today as a much healthier woman, but I can assure you that if I had to relay more on that part of my life you would be surprised as to how I have survived up until this point.

When you trust that where you are going is nothing compared to where you are currently, everything works out for your highest good.

I’m here to tell you that it is okay to be different, okay to be you and that I am worth it and so are you!

Fikile Cele Angel
Fikile ‘Angel’ Cele beautiful inside and out.

I have a story and an experience, and I want to share with you that if you have nothing and if you come from difficult circumstances that it is completely okay. Life has a way of changing and getting better, for it is always evolving in unimaginable ways.

Keep fighting, keep loving, keep giving and I promise you one day it will all be worth it. I am a living testimony of that.

Never apologize for who you are. I believe that as the next Miss South Africa 2021, I can use my power, my self confidence and greatness to advocate for every woman who has felt broken, felt unseen or unheard, limited or abandoned by whatever circumstances they have encountered in life.

I am here to be the ripple effect of change and be a beacon of hope for everyone in my community and for young girls like me.

listen more and judge less

I hope my story inspires you and just ask of you to listen more and judge less, and allow me a chance to share my story with you and be a part of my journey.

Thank you for choosing to walk this new chapter with me ❤️

You are enough ! 🇿🇦 Miss South Africa Miss SA 2021

#misssa2021 #proudlysouthafrican #embraceyourpower


Over 2,000 people have already liked Fikile’s post, some letting her know how much she has already inspired them. To one young actress who said she really needed to hear Angel’s words during a time when she has been feeling despondent, the DJ said: “Trust that God has already made a way, even when you don’t see his working. Greatness is within you hun and not the world. This too shall pass.”

Fikile believes we should “remember never to give your past the opportunity to define your future!”

You can listen to Fikile on Sundays on Sunrise FM, on the Chill Zone with Angel and Ms M.

Fikile told SAPeople the name Angel comes from her adoptive mom. “She called me #Her Angel, and it stuck ever since.”

Angel has entered into the Miss South Africa competition, and is waiting for the selections. We’re holding thumbs that South Africa gets to see and hear a lot more from her. #GoodLuckAngel #RiseUp