Name: Akile Khoza
From: Thulamahashe, Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga
Studying: I am a Master’s student in neuroscience at the University of Stellenbosch.
Previous beauty competitions: 1st Princess at Miss Merensky High School
Why do you want to be Miss South Africa and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role?
I want to inspire young girls to chase their dreams. I want to be a vessel of hope and a symbol of beauty that transcends deeper than physical beauty. Beauty that is confident and strong and comes from within. I will be able to bring qualities of a woman who is relatable, kind, hard-working and passionate about serving her community and country.
What qualities do you believe a Miss South Africa should possess?
She should have a serving heart, be relatable, kind, generous and passionate about empowering other women and girls. She should be kind and loving to those around her. She should be humble and gentle in everything she does. She should have a teachable spirit and strive to always do good.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you and why?
Rolene Strauss. She is very compassionate and a definition of beauty that comes from within. She is true in everything she does, graceful, confident, gentle and proudly South African. She embodies qualities of a woman full of greatness and such a woman I aspire to be.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why?
My mother is my role model. She started off as a housewife and raised three amazing kids. In seeing the journey of growth in her own kids, she wanted to be an example of hard-work and demonstrate the importance of pursing higher education, especially coming from a background of where many were denied this opportunity in the past. So she decided to go to school and study to become a teacher. She became more than a teacher that just teaches; she became an encourager, a caregiver and a mother to her students. She pursued her studies further and recently obtained her PHD degree at Stellenbosch University. At the same time, she was also a mother, a full-time employer and a wife. My mother displays qualities of a woman who is a hard-worker, self-disciplined, determined, loving, caring, wise and strong. She therefore inspires me to be such a phenomenal woman and even more.
Tell us a bit more about your family.
My dad is a police officer and my mom is an educational technologist specialist. My sister, who is the oldest, is studying towards her second degree – also at Stellenbosch University. My brother, who is the middle child, is married and currently working as a chartered accountant. I am of course the youngest child.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love being active. I keep on the go mainly by playing netball and basketball. I played under 21 netball for Maties and for a combined university team.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
My message, which is also my motto, is: “Everything is possible for one who believes.” This means that whatever young girls and young woman believe in, whatever they put their mind and heart to, is possible. They should go out, work hard and chase their dreams and never give up.
If you won the Miss South Africa crown and was able to meet one person, who would it be and why?
The late Nelson Mandela. I would love to spend some time with him and really experience how great a man he was; to find out what exactly was going on in is mind and heart during one of the most defining moments of South Africa, a time of transition to a free country. Because only an individual with a heart of gold could have picked the path he did, which lead to great unity, love and respect for each other in our country.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am extremely tall (1,85m to be exact) but surprisingly I am not a fan of heights. Although, this is a challenge I am fighting to overcome it by hiking and jogging up a mountain!
What are you reading?
I am pursuing my Master’s degree in Neuroscience, so most of the time I spend reading is research articles.
What music are you listening to?
Dr Tumi, Worshipmob, and Maties FM radio.
Your favourite TV shows?
The Chat with Priscilla Shirer and How To Get Away With Murder.
Your favourite meal?
Pap, braaied chicken or meat and chakalaka.
Everything is possible for one who believes. It is actually a quote from the Bible.
Anything else you would like to add?
If you can think it and believe it, then it is possible.