By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
It was a day full of tension especially as the hour ticked towards the start of this pageant that is all about heritage and what the countries of the world have to offer with regards to their cultural heritage from a female perspective.
Not even the comradeship that appeared to permeate the rehearsals earlier in the day could mask the tension that built up towards the start of Miss Heritage Global. You could see this tension on their faces as the young women were called on stage to answer questions from the judges who included former Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida, who hails from the province.
This was the time of reckoning and as per the theme of the event on Heritage Day, guests came in big numbers, adorned in their traditional garb, filling the auditorium at the picturesque Kalahari Lodge Waterfront at the massive Nandoni Dam in Venda, Limpopo, to witness a young woman being crowned the 10th Miss Heritage Global.
And when that moment arrived not even the logistical issues that threatened to spoil this good concept whose chairman is musician-turned businessman Nhlanhla Tshabangu of the Twins fame, prevented the audience from erupting in excitement in recognition of the winner Miss Haiti Abigail Pierre-Louis. By snatching this crown, not only was she declared the fairest of them all, but because of the heritage slant of the pageant, also acknowledged as the one who represented the Haitian heritage more than any of the contestants displayed for their respective countries.
The second runner up was the current Miss Zimbabwe Eva Mzondiwa and our own beloved Zabele Hlabisa from KwaZujlu Natal became the 2nd runner up. Hlabisa won the People’s Choice award in the Miss South Africa 2022 in August.
The 10th event was hosted by South African actress, musician, socialite, and TV host, Khanyi Mbau, and comedian, show host and TV personality Mpho Popps at the Kalahari Waterfront, a luxurious wedding venue owned by Mbofholowo Mbodi. He is the CEO of the Miss Heritage Global.
The event was attended by about 2000 people including representatives from the Limpopo Government and Ambassadors of different countries, and sponsored by Limpopo Provincial Government and Department of Sports, arts and Culture, Thulamela Local municipality amongst others.
The crown designed by Wumba Kapo of Akapo Jewellers who recently opened a shop in DaVinci Hotel in Sandton. She said the crown is made out of pure sterling Silver set with 217 blue, white, pink cubic zirconia.
“The inspiration was created by African hands, is drawn from the abundance of natural resources and cultires that are found in South Africa,” Kapo added.
The event kicked off with 35 contestants from different Countries with different cultures.
“Next year promises to be even a better event as we are learning and striving to make this a memorable event that people will always look forward to in future.” says Nhlanhla Shabangu the Chairman of the Pageant backed by the Founder Ronald Tisauke.
Tshabangu also apologized individually to media representatives for the logistical nightmare they faced as they travelled to Polokwane on a hired bus that delayed, and there were issues at the hotel wher the media were booked as they had to wait for hours before they could check into their rooms. The media also had to content with sharing rooms. This arrangement made many uncomfortable. However when Tshabangu personally apologized o media representative individually that seemed to have worked in calming down the nerves.
The concept is really good and this seems to be a pageant that many who embrace their cultural heritage will resonate with this pageant with a cultural twist. Taking place on Heritage Day in South Africa, September 24, was a perfect fit. What a cultural weekend it was in Limpopo.