Meet our new Miss South Africa

By Drum Digital
15 December 2010

SHE can boast winning a dozen beauty pageants – from her first titles when she was just 18, Miss Superior Model and Miss Teen Limpopo, to the titles she’s won this year, Miss Rivonia, Platinum Face of Africa and most recently the biggest prize of all, Miss South Africa 2010. Yet beautiful Bokang Montjane wasn’t always the confident winner who beat out 11 other beauties to win the coveted Miss SA sash and tiara.

As a little girl she dreamt of the life of a beauty queen with its glamorous gowns, shiny sashes and wild applause. But try as she might, the little girl with the full lips just wasn’t winning. Not that she was an ugly duckling, Bokang laughs.It’s a big, happy laugh from someone who’s clearly used to chuckling out loud. “Oh goodness. I just kept on losing, losing, losing,” she recalls.

But everything happens for a reason and despite the rejection, which could have squashed her self-esteem, she never lost faith and that’s all thanks to her folks. Dad Obed Montjane, a high school principal, and mom Naum, a nurse, nurtured their middle child’s dreams every step of the way.

“My dad called me ‘Boki Special’ and kept telling me I was the most beautiful girl in the world. He said the judges were obviously not very brainy because they were overlooking me,” Bokang smiles.

Bokang and her siblings, older sister Tshepo, who works for a bank, and the baby of the family Meladi, who’s studying architecture, had “an amazing upbringing. We were told it’s okay to be yourself and that you don’t have to be perfect.”

No wonder the 1,74 m-tall public relations graduate oozes confidence. She wowed the Miss SA judges from the get-go and crowds at the Sun City Superbowl gave her a standing ovation when she was announced the winner of this year’s Miss SA title. And wishes of goodwill and congratulations for her streamed onto Facebook sites around the country. One DRUM reader summed up the general mood of euphoria when she wrote on our wall: “She’s so BBB – Black, Brainy and Beautiful!”

But Bokang (24), a self-confessed “movie freak” who loves dance movies, chickflicks and inspirational films such as Remember the Titans with Denzel Washington, is modest about her achievement. “I wasn’t the tallest girl this year. I wasn’t the slimmest and I wouldn’t say I was the prettiest either. But my personality helped. I spoke from the heart and let people see who I really am. I like to think I’m someone who can walk into a room and make her presence felt.”

Read the full article in DRUM of 23 December 2010

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