Cape Town - With just two weeks to go until we’re introduced to our top 16 semi-finalists for this year’s Miss South Africa pageant, our top 35 have their work cut out for them to impress this year’s semi-finalist round of judges.
This year’s pick of judges includes actress and motivational speaker Leandie du Randt; radio broadcaster and Miss South Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie; former runway model and casting director Andiswa Manxiwa; Miss South Africa 2010 Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala and Women's Health editor Danielle Weakley.
The panel of judges will have to have made their selection of 16 young ladies by 11 July, when the top 16 finalists will be revealed.
While it might be a daunting task, here’s what the judges said they’ll each be looking out for:
“I want a focused young woman who will be a great ambassador for our country and a great role model for the youth,” Bokang said.
“I’m looking for someone who is genuine and passionate about her causes to make a difference and change lives.
“So my advice is simple: Come prepared if you really want the title, seize the moment and give us your all. Stay true to your views, be authentic, give us who you are and not who you think we want you to be.”
“The person has to be a true ambassador for our rainbow nation – a strong, compassionate, confident and relatable young woman who is proudly South African in everything she does,” Liesl said.
“Most importantly, she needs to be ready for the title and the responsibility that comes along with it. From my own experience, I can say that this is one of the most important job interviews of your life, prepare for it as such.
“Know your country, know yourself and be ready for the most exciting roller coaster ride. Remember to be kind to yourself and others in the competition; you could not only walk away with a title and crown but with a sisterhood that will be there for you for the rest of your life.”
“What I will be looking for in the potential Miss South Africa is what I refer to as an ‘all-rounder’ and that is a young woman who is beautiful inside and out, who is authentic and not apologetic for who she is, yet totally relatable,” Andiswa said.
“A young woman will be able to powerfully express herself, in a feminine, classy way. A leader to her generation. Knowledge is power. The effort you put into anything is the reward you will receive. Remember that what you believe about yourself is what we will believe about you.
“Lastly, whatever you do, be yourself. Do not let your background and your current circumstances hold you back. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it is what you carry inside, how you carry it and where you’re going that matters.”
Leandie du Randt
“Don’t try and be someone you are not or what you think the judges or public want to you to be – pretence can be seen a mile away,” Leandie said.
“I think the most ground-breaking Miss South Africas have always been those who showed the judges and public what the country needed and longed for, rather than the other way around.
“Authenticity will always be my most beautiful quality in a woman. Someone who is not afraid to be herself and to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves. Also, a lady who has a warm and kind energy, making everyone feel like they are important and that they matter.
“Another important factor for me is someone who is certain of who she is - carrying herself with confidence, poise and respect; someone with clear visions for herself and her country.”
“As editor of Women’s Health, I’m all for strong, not skinny, women who are healthy and fierce, both inside and out,” Danielle said.
“I’m looking for a Miss South Africa who empowers women, not just with her story and her journey but with a powerful body, positive outlook and energy that inspires other women.
“That, and an understanding that as women we are always better together. Be comfortable in your own skin.
“Own your authenticity, your voice, your smarts, your beauty – and just relax and enjoy the ride.”
The Miss South Africa pageant takes place on Women’s Day, Friday, August 9, at Sun International’s flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria and will be broadcast live on both M-Net and Mzansi Magic.
There’s close to R3 million in prize money and sponsorships for this year’s glittering pageant, with the winner walking away with R1 million in cash as well as a luxury car and other fabulous prizes.
The first princess takes home R250 000 in cash, and all 16 finalists receive R25 000.
Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International, Mousson and the LFP Group.