In this 60th anniversary, Diamond Jubilee year of the Miss South Africa competition, the selection panel has been increased to a record seven – and includes a strong line up of some of our country’s most respected and influential personalities, each looking for that unique special ‘something’ to help them decide who will wear this year’s glittering Miss SA crown.
The spectacular Miss South Africa 2018 event will take place on Sunday, May 27 at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. It will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161).
Queen of SA talk, fun and funky radio jock Anele Mdoda, (a previous Miss SA judge in 2014), returns to the panel and will be joined by marketing personality Khaya Dlanga; businesswoman and media mogul Khanyi Dhlomo; entrepreneur and television presenter Janez Vermeiren; award-winning magazine editor Michelle van Breda; celebrity chef and TV personality Siba Mtongana and Miss World 2014, Dr Rolene Strauss.
Strauss, a businesswoman and chairperson of the Strauss Foundation truly appreciates what is required of a Miss South Africa.
“As a previous Miss South Africa and Miss World, I have been in the shoes of the contestants and understand what challenges they face. I believe it would ease their minds to see a familiar face and a person who knows what they are going through. I understand what an international competition like Miss World expects of a Miss South Africa and thus know exactly what to look for in a Miss South Africa who can represent our country internationally,” she says.
“I will be looking for a strikingly beautiful woman who becomes more beautiful as you get to know her. Someone who is hardworking, selfless, resilient and handles difficult situations with ease and grace.”
Anele Mdoda offers pertinent advice for the Top 12: “Your competition is not the other 11 women. The task at hand is to shine as the best form of yourself. Show us why the crown has your name on it. Show us what your intent is. Win it on purpose.”
And what will she be looking for when judging? “All the finalists have the potential. We are in an amazing place where all of them are worthy of the crown. What I am looking for is growth since being announced Top 12 and the young woman who shows me that her life will propel her forward with or without the crown,” explains Mdoda.
Khanyi Dhlomo describes what she is looking for in a potential Miss South Africa: “I think that South Africa, particularly in the current socio-political climate … needs even more self-assured, compassionate and intentional female voices. The winner must most certainly be beautiful but, more importantly, she must have self-belief as well as a strong desire and personal plan to move both herself and her country forward in her area of influence.”
Marketing mogul Khaya Dlanga has this to say: “I will be wearing both hats, that of a marketer and a writer, when casting my vote. My marketing hat will look for someone who is able to represent themselves effortlessly and is able to resonate with an audience that will only ever have access to them through the media and someone who is able to connect on a deeper level on a one on one basis as well. As a writer, I will be looking for someone who has a transcendent story that will resonate across all sectors of South Africa and can connect with the globe as well.”
Van Breda’s offers the following advice to our finalists: “You cannot save the world. But never underestimate the power of women and the power of one. So, show us who you are. You got to the Top 12 because the judges identified something they were really impressed with and liked – something original, something authentic, something different, something powerful. That is your strength. Stick to it. Use it. Talk and act from the heart.”
“Modern women are not afraid to get real and to get the job done. These are the very traits I will be looking for in Miss SA 2018. Someone who will be an ambassador and a spokesperson for women, our country and the Miss SA brand. For the winner, it could be a life-changing experience. This is that one-in-a-million opportunity! She must be prepared to give it her absolute all.”
Renowned media personality Janez Vermeiren, has been in the media industry for almost two decades, and has filled numerous roles, from model and model agency owner to TV presenter and now producer. He says: “Naturally Miss South Africa has to look the part but the most important for me is someone who is well rounded. I will be looking for someone who is media savvy, confident, compassionate and understanding of the challenges our country faces. My advice to all finalists is to clear their minds of all the hype and focus on bringing the best of themselves to the table. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, keep it real and keep it natural.”
Popular foodie host Siba Mtongana understands the pressure of what it takes to succeed on a global stage and reveals what she is looking for in the young women who takes the crown: “I want to find South Africa’s next IT girl. Someone who steps into a room and commands everyone’s attention, without even saying a word. She is confident, yet humble, she has international appeal, yet is firmly grounded on local soil. She has a clear vision of who she is and what she wants to achieve and is looking to make an impactful mark on the world, not only for herself but for our nation.”
Sound advice from every member of the panel, each giving their own distinct opinion on what they’ll be looking for, and how they think the finalists should approach the big event on Sunday.
This year Miss South Africa announced a dramatic and exciting change to its format. Following the cut to the top five finalists, the organisers will go straight to a top two announcement, (rather than the previous approach of 2 runners-up – 2 Princesses – and 1 Miss South Africa winner). One of the pair will be named Miss World South Africa and one will receive the title of Miss Universe South Africa. Both will go on to represent South Africa on the global stage in each respective competition.
However, as there can be only one reigning Miss South Africa, the two winners will be asked one final question by the selection panel as the competition draws to a close. Their answers will determine who is crowned the official Miss South Africa 2018 and she will walk away with the R3 million prize package.
The runner-up takes home nearly R600 000 – R250 000 cash and R350 000 in prizes!
This year’s Top 12 finalists are Akile Khoza, Anzelle von Staden, Bryoni Govender, Daniellë de Jager, Karishma Ramdev, Margo Fargo, Noxolo Ndebele, Tamarin Bensch, Tamaryn Green, Thandokazi Mfundisi, Tharina Botes and Thulisa Keyi.
Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at TicketPro and cost between R160 and R560. Go to: www.ticketpros.co.za