In an interview with Sowetan yesterday, Celeste, 18, shared her frustration at growing up without a father for 15 years.
“I grew up not knowing who my father was.”
But Celeste assured Sowetan that her path to fame was not an easy ride.
“People are not aware of the hardship I went through and the many hours I had to put in preparing for pageants to help my mother,” Celeste said.
Her celebratory mood at being crowned Miss South Africa Teen changed when she received a phone call from her father after she won the coveted prize. Her father was trying to set up an appointment for a meeting.
“Why are you calling me now? you were never there when I needed you,” she recounted what she told her father.
Celeste said her father’s voice changed to aggression.
“When I got my first trophy at school he was not there to celebrate with me. I have won pageants before and he never showed up. Now that it is a huge and national title, he wants to be visible and he wants to come back into my life,” she said.
“My father never thought I would grow up and achieve what I have achieved. I told him he never to think it was my mother who made me say all the things I told him. It was something that came from the bottom of my heart. I felt deeply hurt. I have seen it all because I am always with my mother, who was always there for us as a family.”
Last year Celeste did matric at the prestigious Parktown Girls High School but the school’s governing body initially prevented her from attending the matric dance because she was behind with her fees.
“I had to write a letter to the governing body to give me an exemption two weeks before the event when everybody had their dresses ready,” she said.
Celeste’s mother Nomsa said: “I believe if you know how to look after your children after birth, you take responsibility. What makes you change now?
“Our separation has nothing to do with child maintenance.”
Sowetan was unable to reach her father for comment.