- Lalela Mswane was crowned Miss South Africa 2021 on Saturday at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town.
- "I really wasn't expecting it, which is why I started crying. I was so shocked because I was already so fulfilled and blessed to have made top three," said the 24-year-old.
- Hosted by Anele Mdoda and Nico Panagio, the star-studded affair, was attended by celebrities and former Miss South Africa titleholders Tamaryn Green, Zozibini Tunzi, Rolene Strauss and Cindy Nell-Roberts.
On Saturday, KwaZulu-Natal's Lalela Mswane was crowned Miss South Africa 2021 at the glittering pageant finale held at Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town.
The 24-year-old, who comes from KwaSokhulu in Richards Bay, graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Pretoria. She is also a model and a dancer.
The two runners-up were Moratwe Masima, a qualified doctor from Midrand in Gauteng, and BCom Law degree student Zimi Mabunzi from eQonce (King William's Town) Eastern Cape.
ICYMI (or want to re-live it!): HERE ARE 5 HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS YEAR'S PAGEANT:
1. RED CARPET ARRIVALS
Hosted by Anele Mdoda and Nico Panagio, the star-studded affair was attended by celebrities and former Miss South Africa titleholders Tamaryn Green, Zozibini Tunzi, Rolene Strauss and Cindy Nell-Roberts.
Special guests included reigning Miss World Toni-Ann Singh, Miss Universe Andrea Meza, and Miss Supranational Chanique Rabe, who walked the red carpet ahead of the 2021 crowning ceremony. (See more photos here!)
2. SA'S TOP FASHION DESIGNERS SHINE
The top 10 finalists walked the runway in several dazzling outfits, including swimwear and evening gowns, by leading South African designers.
For the second year, the apparel in the swimwear sequence was created by Cape Town's TracyB Swimwear.
Five local designers each dressed two Miss South Africa finalists in glamorous finale evening gowns with the brief to capture some of the top 10's childhood memories.
DESIGNERS: Georges Malelu (Kgothatso Dithebe and Tiffany Francis); Iman Itumeleng Mtshali owner of Iman Shaik (Cheneil Hart and Moratwe Masima); Jolandie Fouche of Jolache Couture (Bianca Bezuidenhout and Lalela Mswane); Lena-Lisa Retief of Lena-Lisa (Catherine Groenewald and Jeanni Mulder) and Sello Medupe of Scalo (Kaylan Matthews and Zimi Mabunzi)
3. ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCES BY SA ARTISTS
Performing in the show were the Ndlovu Youth Choir, which took the US by storm when they became the first choir in the history of America's Got Talent to make the finals; award-winning gospel singer Ntokozo Mbambo and singer and record producer Zakes Bantwini.
4. CROWNING MOMENT
"I really wasn't expecting it, which is why I started crying. I was so shocked because I was already so fulfilled and blessed to have made top three. So, for me, this is genuinely just the cherry on top," Lalela told Catriona Gray in an interview moments after being crowned.
Speaking to Catriona, an overjoyed Lalela said: "I don't even know where to start. My heart is filled with so much gratitude. I'm so appreciative. Thank you."
5. FIRST INTERVIEW
Lalela had her first interview as the country's Miss South Africa, speaking to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray after the pageant.
Sharing a message with the young boys and girls of South Africa, she said: "This year, I started off the year, and I had a word for the year. And that was 'relentless'. And I have been relentless in pursuit of everything that I desire, and that sets my heart on fire. So, that is what I truly want [to] impart to every single young girl and boy." (Read that full interview here)
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