Miss South Africa has announced the judges for the first round of this year’s pageant.
The four Miss SA first round judges are radio personality veteran Miss SA judge, Anele Mdoda and former Miss SA title holders Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala (2010), Liesl Laurie (2015) and Adè van Heerden (2017).
The judges are currently going through the more than 2 500 entries received – a record number for the pageant – from which they will choose 35 contestants to participate in the virtual interview rounds before a Top 16 is announced.
Mdoda, one of the judges when Rolene Strauss went on to win Miss World and again last year when Zozibini Tunzi took the Miss Universe crown, says she doesn’t feel any pressure to find the next international winner and laughs off her moniker as the ‘judge with the Midas touch’: “It’s never about the judges; it is the belief the young women have in themselves. We just serve as a springboard; the crown finds the contestant whilst she is looking for it.
On what she expects from the candidates Mdoda says: “I have always looked for authenticity and a strong sense of self. You can see it almost immediately when you meet a contestant. With Rolene it was when we asked her what she would change about the process and she spoke about a problem she had seen other contestants experiencing and not herself. It was about being so confident that helping others would not even hinder her journey.
Joining the judging panel for the first time, former Miss SA Dr Adè van Heerden says she is looking for confidence in the next Miss SA. “I am looking for a multifaceted woman. A woman who radiates deep confidence within herself and in the potential of her nation. A woman who can embrace her unique beauty, couple it with the strength of her voice and move our nation forward. The potential winner must be authentic with the ability to learn.
For the first time in the history of the Miss South Africa pageant, the top three finalists will represent the country at the world’s three most prestigious pageants. Previously, the Miss South Africa Organisation has sent a representative to both Miss Universe and Miss World, but will also now be fielding an entrant to Miss Supranational. Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic and Sun International.
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