The new beauty queen will be an advocate of women and children empowerment, and will raise mental health awareness
By Edward Tsumele and CityLife Arts Cape Town Correspondent
A radiant Shudufhadzo Musida has been crowned Miss South Africa 2020 at the glittering pageant finale held for the first time in the Mother City. Musida has the distinction of being crowned the first Miss South Africa from Limpopo Province, a province that is generally regarded as one of the backwater provinces due to its manly rural landscape that forms the greater part of its topography.
Musida’s triumph at this highest level of pageantry in the country will propel the province into the limelight when it comes to the abundance of beauty and brains in the country. This is the first time in its 80 year old history that the pageant has been won by a beauty from that province, and this should boost not only the confidence of young beautiful women dreaming big from Limpopo, but also from other mainly rural provinces in South Africa.
The 24-year-old – who comes from Ha-Masia in Limpopo – has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently doing her BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand. She will receive R1 million in cash as well as a further R2 million worth of sponsorships and prizes, including the use of a luxury Sandton apartment and a Mercedes-Benz cabriolet for a year.
First runner-up was medical doctor Thato Mosehle (25) from Klerksdorp in the North West who received R250 000 in cash. Second runner-up Natasha Joubert (23), a B Com graduate from Pretoria, Gauteng, collected R100 000.
For the first time in the history of the Miss South Africa pageant, the trio will represent the country at the world’s three most prestigious pageants. Previously, the Miss South Africa Organisation has sent a representative to both Miss Universe and Miss World, but will also now be fielding a candidate to Miss Supranational. It will only be revealed at a later date which contestant will go to which pageant.
Shudufhadzo’s mother, Thandi is a real estate agent and she has a 13-year-old sister Zwonka.
In her Miss South Africa acceptance speech, Musida said: “It took an entire village to get me here and I would like to thank all of you for being my village. I stand here today as your Miss South Africa with immense pride and joy to be representing such a beautiful nation – one of the first Venda women, but certainly not the last – to become Miss South Africa. I stand here as an advocate for educational and economic empowerment of women and children and mental health awareness – honoured to be an ambassador of this beautiful nation.
“Through this platform, I plan to continue and build on the beautiful and powerful legacy left by former Miss South Africa title holders, and continue to carry the baton of woman empowerment that the Miss South Africa Organisation is built on and continues to strive for.
“I plan to bring more awareness to mental health, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas, because I truly believe that we need to work on the mind for any change to come about in this country. I plan to mobilise various stakeholders and the nation so we can bring about educational empowerment through the tackling of issues such as period poverty among young girls, workshops that teach children about the importance of mental health from a young age, and mentorship programmes for young women so they can be empowered to be agents of their own future.
“I will continue the fight against food insecurity in rural communities because children can only be their best at school when their basic needs are met. I believe that all of this will continue the efforts of bringing about economic empowerment in this country as more children will be given a fair chance at becoming active members of the economy through educational empowerment.
“This journey has been one of the highlights of my life – one that I will never forget and will cherish for as long as I live. Before this competition started, I had dreamed of helping women and children, and this platform has made that a reality even before the crown was placed on my head. This platform has not only empowered me, but it has caused a ripple effect that has empowered others too. It has empowered a nation of girls just like me, and shows that all dreams are valid irrespective of your background. My life has been changed forever and the lives of the generations that come after me, so for that – Ndo livhuwa.”
The Miss South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador Award 2020 – presented in conjunction with Brand South Africa – was given to women empowerment organisation Sisters in Solidarity which supports women through business development strategies and business registration education workshops.
Founder of Home of Hope for Girls, Mam Khanyi Motsa, was named the Miss South Africa Organisation’s unsung heroine 2020. Proceeds of the sale of the song I Am Woman – performed at the pageant by Sho Madjozi and Ami Faku – will go to the Home of Hope for Girls.
The event, hosted by Nomzamo Mbatha at the Table Bay Hotel and broadcast live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic, was a spectacular affair with entertainment provided by some of the who’s who of the SA music industry including Sho Madjozi, Mi Casa, Ami Faku, Sun-El Musician and Jimmy Nevis.
The Miss South Africa 2020 judges were reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, queen of SA talk and radio jock Anele Mdoda, previous Miss South Africa title holder (1996) and businesswoman Peggy-Sue Khumalo, actress and entrepreneur Leandie du Randt and actress Kim Engelbrecht.
Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic, Sun International, Brand South Africa and the City of Cape Town.