Finalists vying for 2018 Mrs South Africa Plus World pageant are counting down the days to the crowing on 3 November in Bloemfontein. This year is the third edition of the beauty pageant exclusive for curvy and shapely women, married and divorcees aged 20 to 45. In total 18 finalists are in the running for the 2018 title which offers the overall winner a once-in-a-life-time chance to compete globally for the Mrs Plus World title in 2019. Finalists are presently involved in charity initiatives in their respective local communities in accordance with this programme of the prestigious pageant which in South Africa is organised by the Chief Leeuw Foundation. The winner will succeed Puleng Direko, 2017 winner who debuted at the 2018 Mrs Plus World pageant final held in Atlanta, Georgia in July.Direko, together with fellow contestant Dipolelo Hou (2017 Miss Plus SA category winner), have proven to the world that beneath lies beauty and beauty is a big deal. Representing South Africa, they came top in their maiden Miss Plus World and Mrs Plus World finals held in Atlanta, Georgia. Hou obtained the Miss Plus World Ambassador title plus two individual prizes, Miss Photogenic and Miss Pantwear. Direko got the special title of Mrs Plus Intercontinental Ambassador and was the third runner-up in her category.Murunwa Mphigalale from Johannesburg was crowned the 2018 Miss South Africa Plus in April, taking over the reign from Hou. As Miss SA Plus World winner she has qualified as finalist to compete for the Miss Plus World title at the global final in 2019.“The prospect of competing internationally signifies recognition of the pageant which recognise curvy and shapely women. Previously shapely women were excluded from beauty pageants due to size. “This pageant recognises them in every respect hence we are urging the public to support through sponsorship and buying tickets for the crowing ceremony,” said Samuel “Chief” Leeuw, the Chief Leeuw Foundation founder and national director of the World Plus pageant franchise. Since inception in 2016, in the Free State the contest has grown to make provision for three categories: Miss Plus SA, Mrs SA Plus and Miss Teen Plus.Tickets for the 2018 Mrs SA Plus crowning ceremony are available at R150. For booking and tickets call Leeuw on 072-950-0032 or 076-376-0721. Express is the print media sponsor of the pageant.