The great return of Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi as judge of Miss South Africa

Anele Mdoda

By CityLife Arts Writer
Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi returns to South Africa next week to judge the Miss South Africa 2020 pageant.

The all-female judging line-up includes some of the country’s most respected and influential personalities with Tunzi being joined by Peggy-Sue Khumalo, Anele Mdoda and Leandie du Randt. A fifth judge is still to be revealed.

Miss South Africa 2020 will be crowned at The Table Bay hotel in an entertainment-packed event on Saturday, October 24, from 17h00. The event will be screened live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic and will also be streamed online.

For Tunzi it seems surreal: “I was a contestant on stage just a year ago and was in awe of the women on the judging panel.”

Tunzi went on to take the Miss South Africa crown before winning Miss Universe: “I know what it is like first hand to be in the job that these incredible women are applying for. I am excited to see how that experience will be of help in the judging panel. One woman’s life is about to change and I am a part of a panel that will make that happen. I am nervous but mostly humbled and excited by it.”

So what will she be looking for in a potential Miss South Africa: “There are different aspects to look out for, but I am mostly looking for someone with raw authenticity and sincerity about who they are. I am not looking for perfection or moral purity. Someone who has a voice and an aura about her that makes almost everyone feel at ease when they come in contact with her because she will be engaging with a lot of people in the year. 

Leandie du Randt and Peggy-Sue Khumalo

“My advice to the finalists ahead of the night is that when they hit the stage, they must not be too much in their heads. They have done an incredible job in the past few months, in and outside of their interviews. They have been the best representation of themselves. Half of the handwork is done. The final night is for them to be proud, to celebrate their achievement and to have fun. 

“To the winner of Miss South Africa. You are going to create the most beautiful memories and touch a lot of lives. Never take that lightly or for granted; it is a blessing. There are some times when things will get really hard, and when that happens, I want you to remember why you started. It will get you through the craziest days. But most of all, live in the moment and enjoy it fully because time passes by so quickly. Good luck, you are going to be incredible.”

Multi-award-winning, radio and TV presenter Anele Mdoda was one of the judges in 2014 when Rolene Strauss went on to win Miss World and again last year when Zozibini Tunzi took the Miss Universe crown. Does she believe that the pageant and beauty contests have changed significantly in this time?

“I think they have changed and they have stayed the same. The premise is we are still in a BEAUTY pageant and for me that has always come in many shapes and forms. What has changed is that for a long time we relied on the international tone to tell us what beautiful is and now we are saying these are our standards of beauty and we can’t be dictated to.”

Why does she believe that South Africans, in general, are so positive towards the competition? “Because South Africans love a person who backs themselves and I believe that when a lady says I am entering Miss SA, she has gone through many stages of self-doubt and being apprehensive. But along the line the self-belief has to kick in and I think as South Africans we look forward to the results of them standing in that power.”

What will she be looking for in the new Miss South Africa? “Same thing I look for every year. Someone who comes in with their own blueprints of what beauty is and takes us on their journey. We are merely facilitators in someone’s journey. You have to make me believe your plan.”

Her advice for the Top 10: “Presence and intent. Be present in every moment, it goes by so quickly and whether you win or not, you miss the process when it’s done. Every action you take, every answer you reply to, every time you grace the stage or a judging session, a moment with the media, always ask yourself what is your intention. When you are clear about your intentions, things go really easier for you. Lastly the winner has big shoes to fill.
She must bring her own shoes!”

Nonhlanhla Peggy-Sue Khumalo is the current Chief Executive of Standard Bank Wealth, South Africa. Prior to joining the Standard Bank Group, she spent over 17 years with Investec Group. As a previous Miss South Africa title holder (1996) she has plenty of wisdom for this year’s Top 10.

I am inspired by the successes of the Miss South Africa platform which provided a great opportunity for me to empower myself and propelled me to break barriers.”

Her advice for the finalists: “I would say be bold and courageous, stay curious, informed and invest in continuous learning opportunities. Be hungry and when you get a shot take it! And remember your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing are inter-linked and all three are equally important. I believe any potential Miss South Africa winner has to be authentic, bold, unapologetic and must be a symbol to not only assume the position of being Miss South Africa but to exert influence on the decisions that determine our communities common social and economic prosperity.”

She adds: “Given my career in banking, spanning more than 20 years, my international educational experience and my philanthropic work, I believe I will be in a position to broadly reflect my insights and experience in the line of questioning.”

Leandie du Randt explains what she will be bringing to the judging panel: “I have been in the entertainment industry for 12 years, as an actress and entrepreneur which has exposed me to different kinds of people and business environments. Working in these different scenarios has given me the ability to recognise true authenticity, which I believe is one of the main characteristics a true Miss South Africa should possess. I believe that Miss SA is a big deal for the Afrikaans community and think that I will represent them well. This has been a dream of mine for a while now and I can only be intuitively inspired to make our country proud by judging from the heart while using my sound mind.”

What she wants in the new Miss South Africa: “I am a huge fan of true authenticity and showing up as your best self. I am looking for a lady who has passion in her heart, mind and soul for what she stands for. I am looking for a lady who is captivating in the way that she lights up a room with her inspiring and authentic energy, beliefs and being. I will also be looking for a lady that has strength, warmth and a story of her own. My key piece of advice: show up as your best self and trust your gut.”

Miss South Africa 2020 will be screened live on Saturday, October 24, from 17h00 on M-Net and Mzansi Magic as well as the live online stream with exclusive behind the scenes content. Subscriptions to live stream the Miss South Africa 2020 pageant finale online are currently on sale. The pay per view cost is $6.99 (R99.99 excluding VAT) and will include an exclusive pre-show, online streaming of the Miss South Africa 2020 pageant finale, the opportunity to see what happens backstage at the event and access to an exclusive post crowning interview with Miss South Africa 2020. To sign up for this live event, subscribe at (Miss South Africa’s exclusive content online platform).

The Top 10 Miss SA finalists who come from around the country are Aphelele Mbiyo, Busisiwe Mmotla, Chantelle Pretorius, Jordan van der Vyver, Karishma Ramdev, Lebogang Mahlangu, Melissa Nayimuli, Natasha Joubert, Shudufhadzo Musida and Thato Mosehle.

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.

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