PIC: Thulisa Keyi's Miss World dress pays homage to her Xhosa heritage

Thulisa Keyi (Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep)
Thulisa Keyi (Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep)

Johannesburg – At a lavish event at The Maslow hotel in Pretoria, Miss World South Africa Thulisa Keyi revealed the stunning gown she will be wearing to the Miss World pageant in December.  

The conference formed part of Thulisa’s send-off and saw the likes of former Miss South Africa Adé van Heerden take to the stage to give the audience a little background on what goes down at Miss World, having taken part in the competition herself in 2017.  

A focal point for the day was Thulisa’s gown, designed by Biji Gibbs, which she will be wearing in the "Designers of the World" portion of the competition.

Thulisa told The Juice that the fitted, black, velvet dress, with a beaded sleeve was a true representation of who she is.  

“Honestly, it was just capturing who I am as a person, because I’m very grounded in who I am, so I don’t want to go present myself in front of the world, showing something that is less than who I am.” 


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Thulisa Keyi

The simplicity of the dress was something that she aimed for during the design process.  

“In a world where beauty pageants are all about sparkle and so many busy silhouettes, I wanted to say: 'This is me and this is who I am.' A very simple dress, but also I’m a woman, and I consider myself to be bold, and I wanted to capture that in some way. Which then inspired the use of velvet, because velvet absorbs colour and presents the shade in an intense way,” she explains.  

Speaking about the beaded detail, Thulisa tells us that it was inspired by her Xhosa heritage. 

“I wanted to take my heritage with me, because wherever you go in the world, when you remember who you are and where you come from, that always makes things easier. When I was speaking to my designer, I was like:  You have to incorporate in some way a Xhosa element.' That’s how we came up with the beads because the pattern is actually of the Xhosa tribe.”

Thulisa will be making her way to China for the 68th edition of the Miss World pageant, set to take place on 8 December.  

The current Miss World, Manushi Chhillar will crown her successor at the end of the event.


(Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep)