Who will be the next face of Miss South Africa? The continent is a few months away from finding out! One of these 10 talented, remarkable women will follow in the steps of Nokuthula “Thuli” Sithole (the 2005 queen), Zozibini Tunzi (the 2019 winner), Sarah-Lee Laurel Olivier (the reigning queen) and more.
Who are they?
This year’s finalists include Busiswa Esther Mmotha, a Senior & FET Phase teacher who was previously crowned Miss Soweto in 2017, Karishma Ramdev, a qualified medical doctor working at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, Lebogang Mahlangu, a food scientist working in research and development for a large multinational and Natasha Joubert, a Public Relations Officer at RFJ Inc. Attorneys and founder and owner of Natalia Jefferys (Pty) Ltd.
For the first time in the history of the pageant, the contestants who make the Top 3 will represent South Africa at the world’s three most prestigious pageants – Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Supranational.
What’s the goal?
Miss South Africa states that it’s passionate about “transforming the meaning of pageantry and beauty.”
In an official statement, the pageantry organisation wrote, “Miss South Africa is a leadership platform for ambitious young South African women. Through a pageantry process, contestants receive world-renowned coaching in addition to advanced networking, business and life skills.”
“Miss South Africa is an inclusive and accessible brand that welcomes young South African women of all backgrounds, appearances, belief systems and sexual orientations. We empower these talented young women to confront their inherent strength and embrace their future. We are not a once-off event, we are a powerful organisation, a leading voice on female empowerment and a launchpad for much-needed social change.”
The reigning queen
Speaking on her journey as Miss South Africa 2019, having taken over from titleholder, Zozibini Tunzi, who was crowned Miss Universe in December 2019, Sarah-Lee Laurel Olivier believes her experience to have been a life-transforming one. On assuming the role, she wrote, “I am so happy for Zozi who deserves, in every way, to wear the Miss Universe sash. I wish her every success. I step into big shoes. I just want Zozi to know that I will do my best to fill them.”
At the forefront of her reign as Miss South Africa has been gender activism and tireless support survivors of sexual abuse. “Taking over the Miss South Africa title means that I am able to continue working to help women who, like me, have been sexually abused. It will be a top priority for me during my time as Miss South Africa.” Hence her campaign, #ItsNotYourFault was born, designed to support, inspire and help girls, boys, women and men who, like her, have survived sexual abuse.
“We need to change the commonly held perception regarding this – the shame does not lie with the victim at all.”
The winner will be crowned Miss South Africa 2020 on Saturday, October 24 during a live programme on M-Net and Mzansi Magic and streamed for an international audience.