CityLife Arts

Shudufhadzo Musida, Miss South Africa achieves literary feat by penning a book for young readers

By Edward Tsumele

Those who for sometime, have been watching the country’s leading pageant Miss South Africa, whether they believe in beauty contests or not, will have to agree on one thing though, and that is that the winners have increasingly become increasingly, not only beautiful physically, but smart as well.

In fact most of the Miss South Africa title holders over the years have gone on to do amazing things in life, such as in business, media and life generally. Take for example, the recent ones, such as Tunzi, who is well spoken, confident and very much proud of her identity as an African to the extent that she exudes that identity in all her platforms of expression. She this year completed her Miss Universe reign bestowed on her in 2019, extended due to the unusual circumstances the world finds itself in due to the coronavirus World Pandemic. Zobini Tunzi has set the trend for black young girls throughout the world to represent who they really are, complete with wearing African hair for example. She wears hers short, and that courage of going against the direction of the stream in an industry where black women are often seen as a distraction If they won the title, has not only boosted the confidence of women of colour, in a world that is sometimes mean, but people of colour in general everywhere.

Now another beautiful young South African the current Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida is on another intellectual trajectory. The reigning Queen has penned her debut book aimed at young readers, announced  last night by publisher, Jacana Media. By achieving this literary feat, this young woman has proven to the haters how pathetic they are, some of whom said unkind things about her on social media, the type that  are so petty they do not deserve to be repeated here, since she won the crown.

But now Shudu comes, wearing another crown on top of the other, as an author. She managed to do this in the midst of carrying out a hectic schedule as Miss South Africa, just to demonstrate that she is made of sterner stuff.

Her children’s book Shudu Finds Her Magic, published by Jacana Media in six languages and with delightful illustrations by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne,will be available in bookstores around the country and online towards the end of August.
The book is inspired by Musida’s own childhood and the bullying she experienced when she moved to a new province and a new school.
In addition to this her reign has all along been associated with the subject of mental health awareness. Musida is a well-known advocate for mental health awareness, and this year launched her online mental health initiative #MindfulMondays on her Instagram platform @shudufhadzomusida, in conjunction with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and Discovery Vitality.

“The book is aimed at children aged between four and 12 years of age and deals with bullying and the power of friendship. I hope that youngsters will be able to see themselves reflected in the storyline and be able to take something positive away from it.
“The one lesson I want to impart is that when something bad is happening to you it is important to speak to an adult that you trust about it. This could be a parent, a family member, a teacher or an elder. Remember that being bullied is not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you. Nobody should have to go through what I went through,” the new author explains.
The book – which retails at R95 – is available in Afrikaans (Shudu Vind Haar Sprankel), English (Shudu Finds Her Magic), Sesotho (Shudu O Sibolla Boikgetho ba hae), Venda (Shudu u wana Vhuṱolo Hawe), Xhosa (uShudu u Fumanisa ukuba UnoMlingo) and Zulu (uShudu Uthola Umlingo Wakhe).
The Miss South Africa Organisation and Jacana Media maintain they are determined to make Musida’s book available to children around the country and copies will be donated to Childline and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) who help children with issues like bullying and depression.

Copies will also be given to literacy organisations like Biblionef which donate books to schools and libraries to help foster a love of reading.

 Says Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “We are proud of Shudu and what she has achieved with this book. We hope that it helps teach children how to cope with bullying as well as about kindness and compassion and what it means to be a friend. Shudu has always wanted to make a difference and she certainly has.”
 Musida will be giving a series of virtual school talks around the publication of the book and will do a countrywide tour to promote it, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
 As the reigning Miss South Africa 2020, Musida will be participating in the 70th edition of the Miss World pageant to be held on December 16, 2021, at the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of Rolene Strauss, who took the title in 2014.
 Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic and Sun International.

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