Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida on self esteem and dealing with negative criticism: "I’ve had days when I have not felt pretty"

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This was her very first beauty pageant and Shudufhadzo Musi?a knew that staying motivated could help her win.
This was her very first beauty pageant and Shudufhadzo Musi?a knew that staying motivated could help her win.
Momentum/Supplied

A little over a month ago she was crowned Miss South Africa 2020.

Bald, curvy, intelligent and confident, Shudufhadzo Musida (24) stole the hearts of South Africans and has become an inspiration to women country wide.

Like most women, though, Shudufhadzo says she hasn’t always felt beautiful.  

“Self-esteem and self-love are a journey,” she tells Drum.

“I’ve had days when I have not felt pretty. I’m human.”

The negative criticism and cyberbullying she has received since her crowing haven’t helped either.


Some people have shamed her for body and the way she wears her hair but the beauty queen assures us that she has learned a failproof way of dealing with the moments of low self-esteem.

My motto in life is ‘It’s a bad day, not a bad life’.

“Some days are bad, and some are good. It important to always look at the positive side of life,” she explains.

“I don’t entertain negative criticism. I block out the noise and focus on the good.

“As I grow, I have learned to be in control of my thoughts. I am in full control of my life, my decisions, my movements, and the way I deal with situations and I choose peace and positivity,” she says.

“There so much good in life, but you will never see it if you focus on the negative.”

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One month as Miss SA

Speaking of her journey as Miss SA so far, Shudufhadzo says it has been an interesting and fulfilling one.

Since being crowned, Shudufhadzo has had a lot of time to reflect on her life and how she never once imagined she would enter the beauty pageant, let alone win.

“This was my very first beauty pageant.

“I finally plucked in the courage to enter. I am a very reserved person and putting myself out there in a situation where I could most likely fail was nerve-wracking,” she says.

But once her mind was made up about entering, Shudufhadzo gave it her all.

“I’ve had to make major adjustments to my life.

“I am a homebody and I stay home and read, but I’ve learned to get out of m comfort zone, meet people who I inspire and who inspire me,” she explains.

“Just being out of the house and having everyone know who I am has shown me that we truly are a united nation,” she adds. 

Her love for education

One of her many assignments this year will be to attend the 2020 Science of Success Festival hosted by Momentum.

She tells Drum how important it is to be involved with projects that will help build towards building a better future for South Africans.

“I am very careful in choosing the kinds of information I consume.

“It needs to be empowering, educational and the Momentum Science of Success events seeks to enable and empower households to take on a positive outlook of their financial futures and that is up my alley,” she says.

Passionate about education and helping others, the Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduate is proud to have secured a bursary at the beginning of the year to study her BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand. 

“My proudest moments this year have been receiving my scholarship to do my Honours and actually entering Miss South Africa,” she says.

One thing she wants the youth of South Africa to know is that “their dreams are valid”.

“Sometimes we limit ourselves because of our surroundings, but our dreams are valid, dream big, never give up. Work hard and you can achieve anything you set your mind to doing,” she encourages.

In the future, Shudufhadzo would like to work with young people and help to educate them about mental health.

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