‘Shattering the stigma of ageism’- Mrs SA entries open for married women between 25 and 55

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Mrs South Africa Palesa Matjekane flanked by First Princess Hlengiwe Sabela and Second Princess Lèchar Knezovich.
Mrs South Africa Palesa Matjekane flanked by First Princess Hlengiwe Sabela and Second Princess Lèchar Knezovich.
Photo: Supplied by Mrs South Africa

The entries for Mrs South Africa 2023 have officially opened.

Th organisation has announced that married women who wish to take part in the pageant can now submit their entries.

However, the Miss South Africa Organisation announced in 2022 that it will follow in the footsteps of Miss Universe and accept entries from married women. 

So, how does this rule change affect the Mrs SA pageant?

Mrs SA CEO Joani Johnson tells TRUELOVE, “Mrs South Africa applauds Miss South Africa’s recent announcement that it will be changing its competition rules, allowing married women and mothers to compete in their future competitions.”

She notes the decision signals yet another landmark step within the pageant industry to embrace and celebrate women of all backgrounds. 

READ MORE | Second time's a charm for Mrs SA Palesa Matjekane - 'I came back this year and the pageant elevated me'

Joani adds that this closely followed Mrs South Africa’s own announcement earlier in 2022 that it would be extending its entry requirements to include married women up to the age of 55 years.

“We are proud to also be playing a part in embracing inclusivity by shattering the stigma of ageism, by giving more mature women an opportunity to enter and become a powerful voice for good,” she says.  

She adds that the two pageants will continue to complement each other because entrants for Miss SA need to be under the age of 28 years, while Mrs South Africa is open to married women up to 55 years old. 

Reigning Mrs South Africa Palesa Matjekane says that Mrs South Africa gave her the platform needed to reignite her passion and dreams.  

In a previous interview with TRUELOVE, Palesa said: “For those who don’t know, I’m actually entering the competition for the second time. I first entered in 2020 but did not make it to the finals, so I took it upon myself to look at my journey. 

"I then realised that I hadn’t given it my all and the judges didn’t get to fully know me and I thought to myself to give myself some time to work on me.

“After doing introspection and finding myself again, I came back this year and the pageant elevated me and reignited my dreams once more.” 

READ MORE | 5 highlights from the Miss SA 2022 pageant 

The Mrs SA pageant positions itself as a “women empowerment programme” to assist married women as they rediscover themselves and pursue their dreams, regardless of their age. 

This includes providing coaching, skills training and networking opportunities for the women in the pageant organisation and helping them gain confidence in their own abilities as leaders as well as changemakers.

Mrs SA Palesa will be representing South Africa at Mrs World later in 2023. 

During her reign as Mrs SA she will focus on IT literacy in previously disadvantaged communities through her foundation, Woman in Formation Africa. 

Joani says Palesa “will also be taking hands with Mrs South Africa’s three official charities i.e. Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and Family Protection Association (FAMPRO) and South Africa Animal Cancer Association (SAACA) as they continue their incredible work, within the country”.

The list of requirements to enter Mrs South Africa 2023 include the following:

• Be between the ages of 25 and 55 years in 2023

• Have a valid South African ID, passport and driver’s licence

• Be legally married with a marriage certificate from the South African Department of Home Affairs

• Apply before the closing date of Tuesday, 31 January at 17:00

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