Name: Thulisa Keyi
From: I live in Fourways in Sandton but I am originally from Mdantsane in East London in the Eastern Cape.
Occupation: I graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BComm Accounting and PGDA and I am currently doing my articles with one of the big four audit firms to become a chartered accountant
Previous beauty competitions: I have never been part of a pageant. However, I was a professional model (with Contact Model Management) for five years while completing my studies at UCT.
Why do you want to be Miss South Africa and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role?
It is my passion to be at the forefront of change and empowerment. I want to enforce economic participation of women and youth, using the Miss SA platform to empower them through education and really be the driver of change. I bring authenticity to the role of Miss South Africa and a heart to love, give and serve and I think people will appreciate that about me.
What qualities do you believe a Miss South Africa should possess?
Miss South Africa should be confident in who she is and have a passion to create positive change. She should love, give and serve and be an inspiration to the nation.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you?
Basetsana Kumalo. She is such a powerhouse that has taken the Miss SA crown to new heights, established herself in business, built a strong brand and continues to be an inspiration to South African women.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you?
My mother for her selflessness, strength and kindest of hearts and Phuthi Mahanyele, the former CEO of Shanduka for redefining excellence and demonstrating sheer resilience.
Tell us a bit more about your family.
I am one of four children. I have an older sister who is six years older than me, a younger brother who is 18 and a younger sister who is 16. My father was killed when I was 17 and my mom has been our pillar of strength.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with loved ones and explore new restaurants and markets in Johannesburg. I also like to read and keep fit at the gym.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
They should rise above their circumstances, work hard and drive the trajectory of their lives.
If you won the Miss South Africa crown and was able to meet one person, who would it be and why?
Oprah Winfrey, because she is the true definition of strength and resilience as she was able to rise above her circumstances and continues to be an inspiration to me and women all around the world.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was younger, I used to do karate and can still count from one to 10 in Japanese.
What are you reading?
Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath, which explores how perceived disadvantages can turn out to be key to an underdog’s triumph. This book taught me not to undermine my own strength and to believe that I am well equipped to face any giant.
What music are you listening to?
I listen to any good music, be it gospel, pop, R’n’B and soul, house music or afro fusion. My favourite songs at the moment are You are my Rest by Dr Tumi, All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar & SZA and Bamthathile by Samthing Soweto.
Your favourite TV shows?
I don’t really watch much TV but when I do catch up on series like How To Get Away With Murder
Your favourite meal?
On a normal day, pasta would be my favourite meal but my payday treat is definitely lobster thermidor. I could have this any day.
What is your favourite quote?
I have a couple of quotes that I absolutely love but if I had to scale it down to only one, the following quote from J.F Kennedy speaks to my soul: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”