Miss SA 2022 finalists learn about the origins of humankind at last group function before pageant finale

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Lebogang Mahlangu,  Luyanda Zuma, Anarzade Omar, Ayanda Thabethe, Itumeleng Parage, Pearl Ntshehi, Keaoleboga Nkashe, Luve Meyer, Tamsyn Jack and Ndavi Nokeri visit the Shaka Zulu set at the Cradle Boutique Hotel & Nature Reserve.
Lebogang Mahlangu, Luyanda Zuma, Anarzade Omar, Ayanda Thabethe, Itumeleng Parage, Pearl Ntshehi, Keaoleboga Nkashe, Luve Meyer, Tamsyn Jack and Ndavi Nokeri visit the Shaka Zulu set at the Cradle Boutique Hotel & Nature Reserve.
Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep
  • The Miss South Africa finalists embarked on their last official function ahead of the pageant finale in August.
  • The top 10 learned about their human origins with leading South African scientist Dr Keneiloe Molopyane.
  • They also visited the set of Shaka Zulu, which is being filmed on the same property, the Malapa Motsetse Nature Reserve.


The Miss South Africa finalists went on a journey to discover their human origins at the weekend, and there to help them was leading South African scientist Dr Keneiloe Molopyane. 

This was the last official function undertaken by the top 10, who will return home after a whirlwind fortnight ahead of the pageant finale in August. 

Dr Molopyane – affectionately known to her friends and colleagues as Bones and who has been dubbed 'South Africa's underground astronaut' – is the principal investigator at the Gladysvale fossil excavation site and the first woman of colour to head a dig in the Malapa Motsetse Nature Reserve situated in the Greater Cradle of Humankind. 

The top 10 also visited the set of Shaka Zulu, which is being filmed on the same property.

UNESCO listed the Gladysvale site on the privately owned 9-000 hectare reserve as a World Heritage Site in 1999. The reserve is protected in perpetuity and funded from profits earned by the award-winning Cradle Boutique Hotel, the only hotel in the world situated on an active paleoanthropological site.

Dr Molopyane introduced the fascinated finalists to their ancient human ancestors, unearthed on the reserve and now housed in the Malapa Museum adjoining the Cradle Boutique Hotel. The unique museum, built in partnership with paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger's Foundation, National Geographic and the Malapa Motsetse Foundation, houses fossils that tell the story of the origins of man. 

"I am fortunate to be able to work within this fossil-rich reserve. It's been fun to share my excitement with the women who will become South Africa's ambassadors, taking part of the story of human origins with them and raising critical interest in our globally shared heritage," Dr Molopyane said.

They were also taken on a game drive that traversed the property, taking in the Shaka Zulu set and the wildlife, rare flora, unique trees and appearing and disappearing streams.

They were also shown the aquaponics farm and how sustainable methods are used to ensure that everything on the property meets strict 'green' codes.

SEE PICS HERE:

Ndavi Nokeri, Lebogang Mahlangu, Dr Keneiloe Molop
Ndavi Nokeri, Lebogang Mahlangu, Dr Keneiloe Molopyane, Luve Meyer, and Luyanda Zuma at the Malapa Museum at the Cradle Boutique Hotel Nature Reserve.
Lebogang Mahlangu, Anarzade Omar, Pearl Ntheshi, a
Lebogang Mahlangu, Anarzade Omar, Pearl Ntheshi, and Itumeleng Parage at the Shaka Zulu set at the Cradle Boutique Hotel Nature Reserve.
Lebogang Mahlangu, Luyanda Zuma, Anarzade Omar, A
Lebogang Mahlangu, Luyanda Zuma, Anarzade Omar, Ayanda Thabethe, Itumeleng Parage, Pearl Ntshehi, Keaoleboga Nkashe, Luve Meyer, Tamsyn Jack and Ndavi Nokeri visit the Shaka Zulu set at the Cradle Boutique Hotel & Nature Reserve.

Stephanie Weil, CEO of Miss South Africa Organisation, said: "It was a privilege for us all to learn about where we come from. This reserve is remarkable in that you are in the bush and yet just 45 minutes away from Africa's financial hub, Sandton!"

Cradle Boutique Hotel CEO Kobus Botha said: "As the custodians of this precious land, we are always excited to share the story of the Origins of humankind and the discoveries made here."

ALSO READ | Meet the Miss South Africa 2022 top 10 finalists

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