Up close and personal with the Miss SA 2018 top 12

Tamarin Bensch, Noxolo Ndebele, Karishma Ramdev (Photo: Supplied by Miss SA)
Tamarin Bensch, Noxolo Ndebele, Karishma Ramdev (Photo: Supplied by Miss SA)

Johannesburg – The top 12 finalists for Miss SA 2018 were announced at The Maslow hotel in Pretoria on Thursday, with a couple of changes being made to the competition as well.

And while we now know who the lucky ladies are, and where they hail from, we thought it would be a good idea to dig a little deeper to find out more about them.  

Here are your top 12 contestants:

Akile Khoza (23) 

What is the most surprising thing about this beauty? She says people are always taken aback by her height. “I am extremely tall (1,85m to be exact) but surprisingly I am not a fan of heights.” 

Pursuing her master’s degree in neuroscience, Akile says most of her reading time is dedicated to research. And when it comes to food, like a true South African, she cannot stay away from “pap, braaied chicken or meat and chakalaka.”  

Anzelle von Staden (24) 

24-year-old Anzelle describes herself as a very “out-doorsy” person.

“I love maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle and I’ve been a sporty person all my life,” she says. A force to be reckoned with, this is not Anzelle’s first pageant. She also holds the title of Miss Million Dollar 2015, Eastgate Look of Fashion 2016 and Star of Europe 2017.  

Bryoni Govender (21) 

If she had to pick one former Miss SA who has inspired her, Bryoni Govender says it would have to be Rolene Strauss. “She was the reason my first option of study was medicine, she is Miss SA, Miss World, also a mother, wife and mogul. She is the epitome of a Miss SA and radiates beauty inside and out.”

The LLB Law student says the one person she would like to meet if she walks away with the Miss SA title is Oprah Winfrey. “She is a woman of great stature and phenomenal beauty. I also love that she has invested in education in our country.” 

Danielle de Jager (20) 

“Carpe Diem” – this is Danielle’s message to young women in SA. “Be your best every day and seize every opportunity that comes your way,” she explains. 

In her spare time Danielle says she enjoys spending time with family and friends. “Also cheerleading for my university, going to the gym, rowing, road running and  - my latest challenge – learning how to surf. I also do promotional work for various agencies to earn some extra cash, and this helps pay towards my university books,” she adds.  

Karishma Ramdev (23) 

Some of the qualities medical student Karishma Ramdev believes Miss SA should possess include being bold, intelligent and beautiful. “Not only [beautiful] on the outside, but on the inside, and she should believe in herself and her potential,” she goes on to say. 

A hidden talent she has is her voice. “I think they’d be surprised to know that I can sing. I’m no Idols winner but I have been part of a national acapella singing group at the University of Pretoria.” 

Margo Fargo (25) 

Hailing from Bloemfontein, Margo says her favourite meal is one of her mother’s famous dishes. “Definitely my mom’s famous sweet grilled chicken, her dumplings and lamb stew.” 

When asked about the message she would like to share with young woman of South Africa, she says: “Do not ever think that you are inadequate to make it happen. It is your time to step up and rise above your doubts. We need each other for we are stronger together.” 

Noxolo Ndebele (25) 

Here’s what 25-year-old Noxolo says she will bring to the role of Miss South Africa: “I believe the next Miss South Africa is the girl who takes pride in herself, her culture, her background and a person who celebrates her womanhood every day while sharing the beauty with the community she comes from. I believe that be Miss South Africa does not only open opportunities for career development but puts one in a platform to invest into other girls lives.”

One more thing she wants you to know? She will be launching her own clothing brand soon. 

Tamarin Bensch (25) 

Tamarin counts both her mother and father as her role model. “[it’s] a combination of my mother and father with my mother’s kind heart, strong will and love for people, my father’s work ethic and strong mind.”

The 25-year-old says she spends her spare time running her online fashion and beauty store. “I also enjoy park runs on a Saturday. I love spending time with family and friends,” she went on to say.  

Tamaryn Green (23) 

Entering the Miss SA pageant has been a life-long dream of Tamaryn Green. “At first, I wanted to finish my studies to become a medical doctor but this year my heart guided me to enter the competition. It just felt right. My heart told me: ‘this is your year’,” she says. 

She is also an Ed Sheeran fan. “I enjoy music I can potentially dance to and yes, I have a weakness for love songs - Ed Sheeran forever,” she says when asked about what she’s listening to at the moment.  

Thandokazi Mfundisi (24) 

Displaying a love for her country is one quality Thandokazi believes any Miss SA should possess. “Miss South Africa should be a woman who encompasses the principles that this country is founded upon, especially humility,” she says.

If she walked away as the winner of the pageant, she says Michelle Obama is someone she would love to meet. “ She is graceful, witty and intelligent. Every interview of hers that I have seen is always informative and forces you to think outside of the box. She is a great teacher and the fact that she was at Harvard Law School is a bonus. She embodies and exudes positivity and wisdom.” 

Tharina Botes (21) 

If you’ve ever had a dream of owning a chocolate factory, you’re not alone. Tharina says if she could she would own one just like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “I could be sitting all day just eating all the chocolate.”

When asked about the message she would share with the women of South Africa, she said: “My message would be that no matter what your circumstances are, you as an ordinary person can reach your full potential. It’s not about your history nor your education but the quality of your mindset that determines your future.” 

Thulisa Keyi (26) 

Thulisa says she looks up to former Miss SA Basetsana Kumalo for inspiration. “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 Africa women.”

The UCT graduate says it is her “passion to be at the forefront of change and empowerment.” She adds: “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.” 

The Miss SA pageant will take place on 27 May at the Sun Arena in Time Square, Pretoria. 

(Photos: Supplied by Miss SA)