Who is your favourite to win the Miss SA pageant this year?
Carnival City will be hosting the live show on 19 March where South Africa’s new queen will be crowned.
LUYOLO MNGONYAMA (24) – UMTATA, EASTERN CAPE
Luyolo is a third year BA student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, majoring in psychology and sociology. Also an interviewer at the TB and HIV Care Association, Luyolo hopes to instill in young minds love, charity and ambition and would like to use the Miss South Africa platform to do just that. Her role model is her aunt Nobuntu Mngonyama who she describes as “a God-fearing woman who grew up with nothing and made a success of her life, which she now shares with others.” In her spare time, Luyolo knits. Her message to girls and young women: “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude. Situation or wealth won’t determine your success – your attitude will.”
REABETSWE SECHOARO (21) – PRETORIA EAST, GAUTENG
Reabetswe is a second year BCom Accounting Science student at Unisa, and a model. She believes that the woman who gets to wear the Miss SA crown has the platform to make a difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable. Coco Chanel, who said “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different” is Reabetswe’s role model. In her spare time, she does Pilates and spinning.
Her message to girls and young women: “We should stand united and not try to pull each other down. If we encourage each other, we can all reach our potential.”
FELICIA MUWAYI (24) – NELSPRUIT, MPUMALANGA
Felicia is a production manager at Red Pepper Pictures in Johannesburg. She believes that Miss South Africa is not just about glitz and glamour, but about working to affect change. Felicia’s role models include her father, whose drive to make a better life for his family has left her awed and grateful, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela whose strength and resilience inspires her. In her spare time, Felicia watches sports channels and records clips of herself to improve her craft as an aspiring sports anchor. Her message to girls and young women: “Mindset over matter – always. Go out there, push, persist, persevere and defy the odds.”
SHARON-ROSE KHUMALO (24) – PRETORIA, GAUTENG
Sharon-Rose, a volunteer tutor and co-director at Team Matric, wants to use the Miss South Africa platform to inspire young men and women “not to become victims of circumstance, but victors instead”. Her role models are her mother – for her strength and independence and her father who has taught her how important a good character is. Sharon-Rose keeps a vegetable garden in which she spends all her spare time. She also draws, paints and makes mosaic murals. She would love to meet Education Minister, Angie Motshekga “to talk about how I could help in advising the youth to make the right choices”. Her message to girls and young women: You are beautiful, smart and enough just as you are. What you think about yourself matters more than what anyone says about you.
TAYLA SKYE ROBINSON (21) – ROODEPOORT, GAUTENG
Tayla Skye, an honours student in marketing at the University of Pretoria, and a ballet teacher, loves the fact that the woman who wears the crown will be an ambassador for South Africa and a role model. She is inspired by businesswoman, Maria Ramos who, Tayla Skye says, is a prime example of the adage “Nothing is impossible.” She says she admires women who dedicate their lives to hard work with the intention of achieving their goals. Tayla Skye enjoys dance classes in her spare time; she is also learning how to produce music on computer software. Her message to girls and young women: “Being beautiful starts from within. Don’t let society or media influence the way you feel about yourself. Embrace your natural beauty.”
NTANDOYENKOSI KUNENE (23) – MKHONDO, MPUMALANGA
Ntandoyenkosi is an Education Honours student at the University of the Witwatersrand. Like the women produced by the Miss SA brand in the last 50 years, she wants to make an appreciable difference to the society in which she lives. Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, the first black woman to obtain a PhD in Mathematics Education and who also runs an Adopt-A-Learner foundation, is an inspiration to Ntandoyenkosi. In her spare time, she loves going to the movies or meeting up with “my girls” for a meal. Her message to girls and young women: “Most women succeed against all odds. I say start writing your own story.”
MIKAELA OOSTHUIZEN (20) – PORT ELIZABETH, EASTERN CAPE
Mikaela Oosthuizen is a second year BA Media student. Inspired by Miss World Rolene Strauss, she wants to use the Miss South Africa platform to advance the importance of education to all South Africans. She has a strong message for other young women: “You cannot act like cheap flip-flops and expect to be treated like an expensive Louis Vuitton. Value yourself, educate yourself and don’t let anyone treat you in a way that diminishes you.” The one thing she cannot do, she says, is write a bicycle. Otherwise the sky is the limit and with hard work anything is achievable.
RONETTE CHAMBERS (27) – CAPE TOWN, WESTERN CAPE
Ronette Chambers from Cape Town is an international television presenter (co-host of the Capgemini Super Techies Show, season 3 Mumbai India/Paris France). She is also the founding director at Touch of Life International Foundation, an NPO that serves as a medical aid for disabled, vulnerable orphaned children. She’s also in her second year of a BCom Law degree at Unisa. She would like to use the Miss SA title to be a driving force for change through partnerships with NPOs that tackle humanitarian challenges in South Africa. Her role model is her mother “who always stays true to herself”. She loves spending her spare time at the beach. Her message to girls and young women: “You were given this life to serve a purpose. Your dreams have been uniquely designed to fit your life.”
MARCIEL HOPKINS (22) – PAARL, CAPE TOWN, WESTERN CAPE
Marciel is a psychology honours student from Stellenbosch. She wants to be Miss South Africa so that she can involve herself in education, focusing on skills development. She is inspired by strong women such as Angelina Jolie and Caster Semenya. She loves running and reading in her spare time. Her message to young women: “Never let people talk you out of your dreams. You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion. If you want something, make it happen. Never limit yourself by the belief system of others.”
SARAH BOTES (22) – VANDERBIJLPARK, GAUTENG
Sarah, who is a BCom Honours student in Industrial Psychology at Unisa, wants to contribute to the pageant’s legacy of beauty with a purpose and being a voice for the voiceless. Sarah’s role model is renowned businesswoman, Maria Ramos because “her testimony inspires me to be bold and to dream big.” Sarah would love to meet Trevor Noah who she thinks is charming, funny and relatable. In her spare time she loves going out for sushi or listening to “anything from Taylor Swift to Chris Brown.” Her message to girls and young women: “We are not racing against each other; we are running this race together. It’s time we started celebrating and encouraging one another.”
ELIZABETH MOLAPO (23) – BLOEMFONTEIN, FREE STATE
Elizabeth is a final year BCom Economics student at the University of the Free State. Her passion, she says, lies with women’s development, empowerment and independence, adding that she has been shaped by the community in which she grew up, and hopes to be a role model and a mentor to women like her. Elizabeth admires strong, independent women like Khanyi Dhlomo, a businesswoman who is also a brand. Her message to girls and young women: “Strive for empowerment and independence, dream big and realize that your dream is yours to make a reality.”
SCHANÉ VENTER (23) – ALBERTON, GAUTENG
Schané, a production assistant at a digital marketing agency, believes that she can inspire young women to live their dreams and believe that anything is possible if one works hard enough. Inspired by members of her own family and Rolene Strauss, she is a cappuccino lover who also loves trying local markets. She believes that in today’s society it is so easy to fall into the trap of needing to be flawless and that young women must realise that living a “flawless life” is not sustainable. You have to be the best version of yourself, instead.