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FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, MISS SA WILL PRESENT THE MOST DIVERSE GROUP OF WOMEN IN ITS HISTORY

The Miss South Africa pageant celebrates its 61 years of existence, this year. The annual event, which will be anchored by repeat host, Bonang Matheba, will take place on 9 August 2019, at the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria.

But this year, it’s not business as usual. For the first time, the pageant will present the most diverse and inclusive group of women in its history. The aim of its organisers is to celebrate women from different backgrounds, with different body types.

Speaking on this push for diversity, host, Matheba says, “I love this particular pageant because, for the first time in a long time, women who look like that [the contestants] are actually going to feel like, ‘I’m included’. It’s going to break down a lot of stereotypes.”

From the pageantry’s 20-year-old Zanele Phakathi, who is the first-ever plus sized contestant, to Centurion LLB student, Kgothatso Dithebe, a finalist with a unique beauty mark, Miss SA is setting the tone and sending a message to the rest of Africa: beauty cannot be boxed in.

See some of 2019’s top 16 Miss South Africa contestants: