The Miss South Africa 2018 selection panel has been increased to a record seven – in the year that the competition celebrates its 60th anniversary – and includes a strong line up of some of our country’s most respected and influential personalities.
The Diamond Jubilee spectacular takes place on Sunday, May 27 at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. It will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161).
Queen of SA talk and radio jock Anele Mdoda, who was a judge in 2014, returns to the panel and will be joined by marketing personality Khaya Dlanga; businesswoman and media mogul Khanyi Dhlomo; entrepreneur and television presenter Janez Vermeiren; award-winning magazine editor Michelle van Breda; celebrity chef and TV personality Siba Mtongana and Miss World 2014, Dr Rolene Strauss.
Strauss – who is also a businesswoman and chairperson of the Strauss Foundation – appreciates what is required of a Miss South Africa.
“As a previous Miss South Africa and Miss World, I have been in the shoes of the contestants and understand what challenges they face. I believe it would ease their minds to see a familiar face and a person who knows what they are going through.
“I understand what an international competition like Miss World expects of a Miss South Africa and thus know exactly what to look for in a Miss South Africa who can represent our country internationally,” she says.
“I will be looking for a strikingly beautiful woman who becomes more beautiful as you get to know her. Someone who is hardworking, selfless, resilient and handles difficult situations with ease and grace.”
Mdoda has some pertinent advice for the Top 12: “Your competition is not the other 11 women. The task at hand is to shine as the best form of yourself. Show us why the crown has your name on it. Show us what your intent is. Win it on purpose.”
What will she be looking for when judging? “All the finalists have the potential. We are in an amazing place where all of them are worthy of the crown. What I am looking for is growth since being announced Top 12 and the young woman who shows me that her life will propel her forward with or without the crown,” explains Mdoda.
Dhlomo describes what she is looking for in a potential Miss South Africa: “I think that South Africa, particularly in the current socio-political climate – and especially as it relates to younger women – needs even more self-assured, compassionate and intentional female voices. The winner must most certainly be beautiful but, more importantly, she must have self-belief as well as a strong desire and personal plan to move both herself and her country forward in her area of influence.”
Dlanga explains what he will offer as part of the selection panel: “I will be wearing both hats, that of a marketer and a writer who observes society and self, when casting my vote. My marketing hat will look for someone who is able to represent themselves effortlessly and is able to resonate with an audience that will only ever have access to them through the media and someone who is able to connect on a deeper level on a one on one basis as well. As a writer, I will be looking for someone who has a transcendent story that will resonate across all sectors of South Africa and can connect with the globe as well.”