“It feels like a dream,” said Shudufhadzo Musida, who was crowned Miss South Africa at the weekend.
Musida said she was overawed when she won the pageant.
“I slept like a baby the whole night and for the first time I didn’t dream. I think it’s because I’m living my dream right now,” she said.
Musida, 24, is originally from Ha-Masia in Limpopo. She appeared at a press conference with first runner-up Thato Mosehle, 25, from Klerksdorp in North West and second runner-up Natasha Joubert, 23, from Pretoria.
All three are set to represent the country at the world’s three most prestigious pageants. Previously, the Miss South Africa organisation sent a representative to both the Miss Universe and Miss World contests, but will now also be fielding a candidate at the Miss Supranational contest. It will be revealed at a later date who of them will attend each of the pageants.
“The journey for me has been amazing; you grow by growing other women and that’s what it’s been like for me. There is a sisterhood and that’s what made this journey so amazing, and embracing sameness and embracing differences,” said Musida.
She said she would be on a mission to especially raise awareness around mental health issues. “Right now one in three people is expected to suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime, and only one in 10 will have access to health care my goal is for everyone to have access to mental health care and once we achieve that we can conquer so many things in our society. We can remedy so many social ills. Internationally, I will advocate for the same thing,” she said.
Mayor Dan Plato congratulated Musida on her win. “Cape Town is proud to have successfully hosted the event during these difficult times; ensuring the safety of all those involved by deploying the necessary health protocols aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
“Hosting events of an international stature is key to ensuring the recovery of our economy and a much-needed boost for our tourism industry, which has taken a knock as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic hard lockdown.”
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “It is awe-inspiring to live in a time where we co-exist with this level of excellence. Musida is the epitome of the quality of youth leadership that South Africa and the world deserves.”
Musida is studying for a BA honours degree in international relations at the Wits University.