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New crown makes winner sparkle

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Top contestants in the Miss South Africa Plus World beauty pageant for 2021 at the crowning held in the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre on 2 October. From the left are, front: Ngwekazi Makaba (Miss South Africa Plus World 2021); back: Thubeli Mhlongo (first princess), Mammone Aphiri (Ms South Africa Plus Intercontinental 2020), Karabo Ratikane (Miss South Africa Plus World 2020) and Shannae Hutton (second princess).Photo: Supplied
Top contestants in the Miss South Africa Plus World beauty pageant for 2021 at the crowning held in the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre on 2 October. From the left are, front: Ngwekazi Makaba (Miss South Africa Plus World 2021); back: Thubeli Mhlongo (first princess), Mammone Aphiri (Ms South Africa Plus Intercontinental 2020), Karabo Ratikane (Miss South Africa Plus World 2020) and Shannae Hutton (second princess).Photo: Supplied

Miss South Africa Plus World 2021, Ngwekazi Makaba, was the first to be crowned with even more sparkle and splendour than this pageant has ever seen before.

She beamed with joy as she received the new 18-carat crown, which boasts over 1 000 precious stones, at the event held in the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre on 2 October.

Makaba (31) beat 17 other finalists to wearing this showstopping piece. She was also named Miss Personality, as voted for by the audience in attendance and online.

Born and bred in the rural areas of Nqamakwe eNdakana in the Eastern Cape, she will represent South Africa in the international leg of the pageant for 2023. This is expected to be held in Houston, Texas.

“For the longest time I have been cautious about my body,” said Makaba.

“I would sometimes body shame myself so that when the next person pointed out my imperfections, it would not hurt. But, truth is: It did hurt. I would constantly sabotage opportunities because I thought I was not worthy of them and not beautiful enough. So, this pageant has just given me the confidence I needed, and self-appreciation.”

Thubeli Mhlongo from KwaZulu-Natal was crowned first princess and Shannae Hutton from the Eastern Cape as second princess. They also received additional titles following voting by the audience. Mhlongo scooped double acknowledgement by being named Miss Public Choice and Miss Social Media, while Hutton was named Miss Photogenic.

Also at part of this contest, Motshidisi Manotsi was crowned as Miss Varsity Plus, and Lebohang Masimong as the runner-up. They both automatically qualify to compete in the 2022 Miss South Africa Plus World pageant, with a chance to compete internationally if they win.

The winner of the Miss South Africa Plus World pageant for 2020, Mammone Aphiri, together with runner-up Karabo Ratikane, will compete for the 2022 international title. They are both from the North West.

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