Entries for the 2020 Miss South Africa pageant are officially open, and Channel24 asked Margaret Gardiner advice for the ladies entering the national beauty pageant this year.
"Beauty pageants have never been about looks alone," says Margaret, adding: "It could change your life, but you have to drive your destiny."
Margaret, who at the age of 18 was the first South African to be crowned Miss Universe in 1978, says that the title is not only an opportunity to fly the South African flag high but also an opportunity to broaden your perspective of the world.
"It was such an honour for me. And I know that each person entering is beautiful, smart and already a winner. If you don't win, it doesn't make you less. It just means that it was not your path."
The sentiment has rung true for many Miss South Africas, who took home the crown on a second, and even third attempt - including Rolene Strauss, Zozibini Tunzi and Amy Kleinhans-Curd.
When asked for advice for the current applicants, Margaret says: "Prepare mentally, be your best you and have fun."
"There's a lovely sisterhood of laugher and support amongst beauty contestants, contrary to misconceptions about the industry."
Speaking to Channel24 in a previous interview, Margaret told us about the special bond she has with her Miss South Africa sisters. "We have a WhatsApp group, where we laugh and talk with so much ease, they have all inspired me, the way they so effortlessly share themselves with the public," she said.
Margaret offers a special message to the 2020 entrants, saying: "Rise above and stand tall. Be confident that you are enough. That's not just true for pageants, but for life."