This year’s Miss South Africa finalists – one of whom will proudly be crowned Miss South Africa 2019 on Women’s Day on August 9 – have been announced.
The Top 16 finalists who share a prize package worth R400,000, come from four of the country’s provinces. They are an impressive group and include law, B.Com and psychology graduates and students as well as a parliamentary officer and researcher.
This year members of the public can vote for their favourite contestant on the Miss South Africa website. The winner of the People’s Choice will automatically make it to the Top 10 on pageant night.
They are (in alphabetical order of their first names):
- Beulah Baduza (23), from Hatfield in Pretoria, who is a BA Law graduate and currently doing her LLB.
- Chuma Matsaluka (21), from Nyanga in the Western Cape, who is in her third year in a humanities degree at UCT majoring in anthropology, industrial sociology and political studies.
- Danielle Wallace (26), from Umhlanga in KZN, who moved this month to Cape Town, and is a Bachelor of Social Sciences graduate and full-time model.
- Eloïse van der Westhuizen (24), from Panorama in Cape Town, who has a B.Com and Honours degree in logistics/supply chain management (Cum Laude) from the University of Stellenbosch and currently works as a merchandise planner.
- Errin Brits (22), from Randpark Ridge, who is a BA Law Graduate (Cum Laude) and in her first year of LLB.
- Keabetswe Kanyane (25), from Mobapane in Pretoria, who works as an analyst and project coordinator and who graduated with a B.Com in Supply Chain Management at the University of Pretoria and is studying for a B.Com Hons: Logistics Management at the University of Johannesburg.
- Kgothatso Dithebe (24), from Centurion in Pretoria, who is a second-year law student at Unisa.
- Lisa Stoffela (26), who hails from Margate in KZN, but who is currently living in Johannesburg; she graduated with a B.Com in Financial Management, is the owner of a small pizza takeaway restaurant and is a part-time model.
- Loren Leigh Jenneker (24), from Centurion in Pretoria, who is studying for a B.Com degree in Finance at the University of Johannesburg.
- Noluthando Bennett (24), from Kagiso in Krugersdorp, who is a sound engineer with a post-graduate diploma in multimedia and web design.
- Nompumelelo Maduna (24), from Rockville in Soweto, who has a B.Tech Marketing Management from the University of Johannesburg and is working as a private banker at a leading financial institution.
- Sasha-Lee Olivier (26), from Alberton, who is studying for a marketing and psychology degree at Wits while also working as a model.
- Sibabalwe Gcilitshana (24), from Nqamakwe in the Eastern Cape and currently living in Bellville, who has her Honours in Justice and Transformation from UCT and works as a parliamentary officer and researcher for Equal Education
- Xia Narain (23), from Chatsworth, KZN, who has a Bachelor of Social Science degree in General and Industrial Psychology from UKZN Howard Campus and will next pursue her honours degree in clinical psychology.
- Zanele Phakathi (20), from Soweto, who is a first-year Business Information Technology student at the University of Johannesburg and model at Boss Models.
- Zozibini Tunzi (25), from Tsolo in the Eastern Cape, who graduated with an ND Public Relations Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and is currently completing B.Tech in PR at the same institution, lives in Gardens.
We are thrilled with the calibre of this year’s finalists. They are intelligent, beautiful – both inside and out – and possess an admirable desire to make a difference in their communities. They have all ‘dreamed big’ and have done incredibly well to make the final 16 in a year in which we received a record number of entries.
Stephanie Weil on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation
Her views are echoed by Gareth Flusk, Events and Entertainment Manager: Sun International: “We have a very talented and diverse Top 16 this year, a group of young women who are passionate about competing and winning the title. They depict everything that we hope the competition represents; intelligence, integrity and beauty. We are looking forward to an exciting build-up to the finale at Time Square next month.”
“Congratulations to the top 16 Miss South Africa finalists. These young women are indicative of South Africa – they’re diverse and vibrant. We are proud to play a role in empowering young females and look forward to bringing SA’s next role model to the fore,” said Louis Pulzone, CEO of the LFP Group who is one of the pageant’s major sponsors.
The judges were actress and motivational speaker Leandie du Randt; broadcaster and Miss South Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie; former runway model and casting director Andiswa Manxiwa; Miss South Africa 2010 Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala and Women’s Health editor Danielle Weakley.
The Miss South Africa pageant – with host Bonang Matheba – takes place on Women’s Day, Friday, August 9, at Sun International’s flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria and will be broadcast live on both M-Net and Mzanzi Magic.
There is close to R3 million in prize money and sponsorships for this year’s glittering pageant, with the winner walking away with R1 million in cash as well as other fabulous prizes. The runner-up takes home R250 000 in cash, and all 16 finalists will receive R25 000.
Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International and the LFP Group.
Beulah Baduza from Hatfield, Pretoria, is a 23-year old student studying for an LLB degree at the University of Pretoria. She lists her six role models as being her mother, Naomi Campbell, Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Winnie Mandela and Serena Williams. She enjoys working out, exploring different restaurants with friends, singing, travelling, cycling, watching Netflix and reading – her current book being Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She confesses that she fancies Odell Beckham Jnr and has had the biggest crush on him for two years. She loves a good chicken tikka pasta salad and says listening to classical music helps her concentrate and relax.
Twenty-one-year-old Chuma Matsaluka hails from Nyanga, Cape Town, and is currently in her third year in Humanities, majoring in anthropology, industrial sociology and political studies at the University of Cape Town. She has a younger brother and five half-brothers and sisters and enjoys hiking, going on coffee dates with herself, reading and spending time with family and friends. She would love to meet the singer Letta Mbulu whom she considers “one of South Africa’s gems”. Describing herself as assertive, intelligent and compassionate, Chuma says people would be surprised to know that is very talkative. Her favourite TV shows are on the Crime & Investigation channel which she watches while indulging in her guilty pleasures of coke and ice cream.
Originally from Umhlanga in KZN, Danielle Wallace moved to Cape Town in June this year. The 26-year-old studied a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in English and media and worked in marketing as a brand manager for several value-added service products, but stepped away from her job to further her modelling career and give 100% to her Miss SA journey. Her role models are ordinary people who inspire her through their actions and stories. She enjoys running, hiking and being outdoors but she does confess that she loves nothing better than staying in her PJs all day watching Netflix. A self-confessed karaoke queen, Danielle describes herself as bold, loving and creative with a crush on Jonathan Boynton-Lee.
Eloïse van der Westhuizen is from Panorama, Cape Town, and is a merchandise planner in Parow. In 2015, the 24-year-old completed a B.Com Management degree at the University of Stellenbosch followed in 2016 with an Honours degree in Logistics & Supply Chain Management, completing both degrees Cum Laude and awarded the Rector’s Award for Academic Excellence. One of Eloïse’s role models is former Miss SA Tamaryn Green whose Break the Stigma campaign about TB awareness helped her deal with, and talk about, her own scare with the disease. A fan of MasterChef Australia, Game of Thrones and Survivor SA, her favourite meal is pulled lamb tagliatelle pasta which she’d love to share with her crush, Ryan Reynolds.
BA Law Graduate (Cum Laude) and currently in her first year of her LLB, 22-year old Errin Brits lives in Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg. She says her father is her daily inspiration as he had to give up his studies and dreams and work multiple jobs to support the family. She feels beauty pageants are still relevant today because the Miss South Africa title is an opportunity for a woman to have one of the most empowering jobs in the nation for a year. Apart from her mother, her female role model is former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, because she “protected our nation with unwavering courage, taking on some of the most powerful men in the country with grace, wit and integrity”. At the gym she listens to hip-hop but when relaxing enjoys Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Hozier and Steve Aoki.
Keabetswe Kanyane hails from Mobapane, Pretoria, where she works as an analyst and project coordinator. She received her B.Com Supply Chain Management Undergraduate Degree at the University of Pretoria and is currently studying for a B.Com Hons Logistics Management at the University of Johannesburg. A real gym bunny, she also enjoys hosting, cooking and planning game nights. Keabetswe names her female role model as Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) because she went against what she knew and broke the glass ceiling. The 25-year old says she loves being around and meeting different people from all walks of life but can be somewhat of an introvert, restoring her energy in solitude. She loves the TV series The Walking Dead, listening to Bethel Music, Hillsong Worship and CRC Music and eating mala mogodu (tripe).
Kgothatso Dithebe lives in Centurion, Pretoria, and is currently in her second year studying for an LLB Law Degree with the University of South Africa. The 24 -year old says that if she is crowned Miss SA she wants to bring hope to those who feel mistreated, misplaced or misunderstood. Born with a facial birthmark, Kgothatso says people would make her feel so insecure about it when she was growing up. “That led to me having low self-esteem and feeling like I was less of a person,” she says. She admires former Miss SA and Miss World Rolene Strauss whose grit and determination is something she strongly believes in. Confident, ambitious and a go-getter, Kgothatso enjoys watching wrestling, loves old school R’n’B and confesses her guilty pleasure is spending money on clothes and food instead of saving it for something more significant.
Lisa Stoffela, 26, is currently based in Morningside, Johannesburg, but originally comes from Margate in Kwazulu-Natal. She has a B.Com in Financial Management degree, is an owner of a small pizza takeaway restaurant and is also a part-time model. Apart from her mother, her role model is Michelle Obama who has shown her the importance of empowering other women by sharing stories. She has two older sisters, Tabisa (30) and Yum-Yum (29), who was named after the peanut butter, and would love to meet the actress Viola Davis because she is “so fierce and unafraid to take risks and I believe that is why she has become so successful in her chosen field”. Describing herself as driven, compassionate and resilient, Lisa loves pizza and a good bowl of pasta.
Port Elizabeth born and raised, 24-year old Loren Leigh Jenneker lives in Centurion, Pretoria, and is a full-time student doing a B.Com degree in Finance at the University of Johannesburg. She plans on doing her honours in investments and then work towards becoming a forensic accountant. She’s also a full-time model at Boss Models. An avid reader – currently reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – she also collects book donations and tutors children who are not at the required reading level. Her music choice is based on her mood, so in the morning she listens to praise and worship to start the day on a good note, otherwise, her favourite is The Internet and Kaytranada. Her celeb crush is Johnny Depp “because I love his spirit and quick wit” and her guilty pleasure is a milk tart cronut!
Noluthando Bennett hails from Kagiso, Krugersdorp and is a freelance junior technical sound assistant and an events manager assistant. The 24-year-old graduated as a sound engineer at Damelin, Braamfontein, and also has a post-graduate diploma in multimedia and web design from CTU Training Solutions. She believes the Miss SA pageant is not just about having the right face and body, but also about finding young women who are future leaders of the country. A previous Miss SA who has inspired her is Jacqui Mofokeng “because she broke barriers and showed every young black woman that it’s possible to be crowned Miss SA”. She admires the filmmaker Ava DuVernay “who is showing us that you have to be bold, you have to be brave, you can use your gift, your purpose to tell a story and be a voice for those that were shut out by the world.”
Nompumelelo Maduna, 24, from Rockville, Soweto graduated with a B. Tech Marketing Management from the University of Johannesburg and currently works at a financial institution as a private banker. The first princess in both Miss Earth 2018 and Miss Rivonia, she wants to be Miss SA to inspire and empower others by proving that any goal is attainable through hard work and determination. One of her role models is Nomzamo Mbatha, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador who has dedicated herself to helping refugee women and children in Africa. She keeps fit and active by playing netball and golf and is a trainer at The Model Academy teaching catwalk, confidence-building and etiquette. She’d most like to meet the Minister of Education, Angie Motshega, as she has a passion for education.
Entrepreneur and model, Sasha-Lee Olivier (26) is currently pursuing a double major in marketing and psychology at Wits University. A former Miss SA that inspires her is Amy Kleinhans-Curd, who in 1992 “displayed courage in choosing not to carry the old South African flag”. Her role models include Vusi Thembekwayo, as she admires his tenacity in the face of adversity and Oprah Winfrey who she says taught her to be true to her story and stand for something. Sasha-Lee enjoys fishing and is an art lover, so can often be found in an art gallery or museum. Describing herself as resilient, empathetic and positive, she is a proud member of the Bey-hive fan club and also loves Coldplay. Her fave TV series is The Big Bang Theory and she loves pizza and cheesecake.
Sibabalwe (Siba) Gcilitshana is from a village called Blythswood, close to the town of Nqamakwe in the Eastern Cape, but is now based in Bellville in Cape Town. This 24-year old serves as a Parliamentary officer and researcher for Equal Education (EE), a social-democratic movement striving for equality and quality in the South African education system. Her mother is a trained performing artist and her step-father is a medical doctor and works for the South African Blood Donations Service as a lead consultant in cellular therapy and novel products. She also has a six-year-old sister. Siba loves singing, meditating, hiking, cooking, travelling, catching up with current affairs, self-care, spending time with her family, reading and catching up with her favourite TV series Killing Eve.
Twenty-three-year-old Xia Narain comes from Chatsworth, KwaZulu Natal and is a model affiliated to Topco model agency in Cape Town, Edit Models in Turkey and Models International in Durban. She completed a Bachelor of Social Science degree in General and Industrial Psychology in 2018 and will be pursuing her Honours Degree in Clinical Psychology next year. She also teaches confidence, ramp walk, model etiquette and self-esteem at Models International. Her role models include Madiba, Princess Diana, Oprah, Ellen De Generes and Sushmita Senn, Miss Universe 1994 and a Bollywood actress. She loves a good horror movie as well as comedies and has kept journals from the age of 12. Her local and international celeb crushes are Chad Le Clos and Will Smith respectively.
Zanele Phakathi, 20, from Soweto in Gauteng is a first-year Business Information Technology student at the University of Johannesburg and a model at Boss Models. She has won more than 70 pageant titles, the first being Little Miss Dobsonville in 2011. Her two female role models are her mother who raised her and her three sisters on her own, and Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala, Miss SA 2010, who “believed in herself against all odds to achieve all the dreams she set for herself.” Zanele was involved in a car accident last year and lost the hearing in her left ear but loves listening to different types of music but mostly Gospel. Among her accolades are the Thuli Madonsela Foundation Ambassador Awards; Young Lead SA Top 20 Female Change Makers 2018; nominated in the Woman of Stature 2018. She loves chocolate, has a crush on Maps Maponyane and Will Smith and enjoys watching The Queen.
Zozibini Tunzi currently resides in Gardens, Cape Town but her home is Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape. This 25-year-old graduated with an ND Public Relations Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and is now completing her B.Tech in PR while working at Ogilvy Cape Town in an undergraduate programme. Her role models are her parents: “My mother taught me the importance of being kind and humble and always helpful to those around me and my father taught me the importance of an education, hard work and discipline.” She has three sisters, who she counts as her best friends, and she would love to meet Caster Semenya to learn more from women like her “because they know what it takes to live an impactful life.” Zozibini is a hard-core Marvel fan, loved Game of Thrones and has a crush on Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy).