TOP 15 ANNOUNCED: MEET MISS SOUTH AFRICA FINALISTS – FOUR FROM GREATER SANDTON
Come Covid-19 or high-water, the 2020 Miss South Africa pageant carries on, even with the country in lockdown.
The contestants represent seven provinces – Gauteng has six semi-finalists (with three from Tshwane and one from Soweto), followed by the Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Western Cape with two each while the Free State, Limpopo and North West each has one entrant.
They were introduced by the reigning Miss South Africa, Sasha-Lee Olivier, in a virtual public reveal. The public now has the chance to vote to ensure that their favourite contestant progresses to the finale which is scheduled to take place in the last quarter of the year.
Following a round of public voting, the selection of hopefuls has been narrowed down to 15 finalists – four of which, with strong links to Sandton:
Olin-Shae De La Cruz (26) comes from Bryanston, Gauteng and is in her final year of a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Media Operations Management at Boston Media House. She co-founded her own marketing company called Swish EP, works as an account manager for a media and advertising company, is a netball coach on weekends with ActionKidzSA and is also a model represented by Pace Model Management. Her celebrity crush is Ricky Whittle.
“I am grateful to be a part of the Top 15. It is quite an achievement. I’m glad I can continue to look within, own my story and be another step closer to an opportunity of a lifetime. And I’m excited for what the future holds. What I will share, the people I will meet and of course working with the Miss South Africa Organisation. The journey thus far has been rewarding and all the messages of support and encouragement means the world to me.”
Jordan van der Vyver (24) comes from Greenpoint in Cape Town but grew up in Johannesburg, where she went to Bryanston High School and matriculated in 2013. She is an international model who usually spends half the year working in the US. The lockdown has taught her to appreciate the meaningful things in life. She is inspired by her mother who is currently finishing her honours in psychology and has an older sister. Her role model is the late Audrey Hepburn and it was because of meeting Jo-Ann Strauss that she entered the pageant.
“I am truly overjoyed at being chosen as one of the Top 15! I am thankful for the opportunity to further join the Miss South Africa Organisation in facilitating positive change. My journey has been informative, gratifying and exciting. I have enjoyed all the tasks, videos and interviews, as well as virtually meeting everyone involved. During such a complex time in our world, this pageant has been a beacon of hope in my life. Continuing this journey, I could not be happier!”
Melissa Nayimuli (24) is from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape now lives in Sunninghill, Johannesburg where she works as an account manager for a marketing agency. She has a BA in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA and majored in television writing.
“This is my third time entering Miss South Africa, but my first time making it through any round. I entered in 2016 and 2018, and both times, I did not make it past the first judging round. Getting rejected was really disappointing, so coming back this year took a lot of courage. But I am so happy I took that brave step because here I am now, part of the Top 15. This journey has been nothing short of amazing.”
Aphelele Mbiyo (24) was born in Mthata and raised in Port Elizabeth but currently lives in Lonehill, Johannesburg. She holds a BA in Integrated Marketing Communications.
”I feel incredibly honoured to be a part of the Top 15 for Miss South Africa. I am grateful to have been selected from more than 2000 entrants for the Top 35 and thrilled to make further progress. So far, the journey has been a range of mixed emotions – excitement, nervousness and anxiety – but I remain focused and I am ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and have an impact on society.”
The balance of the 2020 Miss South Africa finalists from across the country, in alphabetical order, are:
Anazarde Omar (21) from Crown Gardens in Johannesburg has a BA Strategic Communication in Marketing from the University of Johannesburg.
Busisiwe Mmotla (27) hails from Soweto and is a Senior & FET Phase teacher who graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2017 with a Bachelor of Education degree.
Chantelle Pretorius (24) from Tshwane, Gauteng, is a full-time model and spends six to nine months a year working in Europe. She is also finishing her B.Com Business Management degree through Unisa and completed a diploma in nutrition at The Blackford Centre.
Karishma Ramdev (25) comes from Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal but lives in Johannesburg where she is a qualified medical doctor working at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
Lebogang Mahlangu (24) from Soshanguve, Gauteng, is a food scientist working in research and development for a large multi-national.
Matsepo Sithole (21) is from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and is a full-time 4th year law student at the University of Pretoria.
Natasha Joubert (22) from Centurion, Tshwane, Gauteng is a Public Relations Officer at RFJ Inc. Attorneys and founder and owner of Natalia Jefferys (Pty) Ltd. She has a BCom Marketing Management Graduate from Boston City Campus.
Palesa Keswa (23) is from Sasolburg in the Free State and has an undergraduate degree in economics and risk management. She is currently doing her honours in economics at the North West University.
Savannah Schutzler (24) from Rondebosch in the Western Cape, is an actress who graduated with a BA Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Stellenbosch University. She then went to AFDA and graduated with honours in live performance.
Shudufhadzo Musida (23) comes from Ha-Masia in Limpopo and has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently doing a BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.
Thato Mosehle (25) from Klerksdorp in the North West is a medical doctor currently completing her internship with the aim of becoming an anaesthesiologist.
“We were delighted with the calibre of entries and the judges – broadcaster Anele Mdoda and former Miss South Africa title holders Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala, Liesl Laurie and Adè van Heerden – had an incredibly tough job. This Top 15 is an impressive group and I think South Africa is going to fall in love with them.”
– CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation, Stephanie Weil
The public will now be able to vote for their favourite semi-finalists and determine who moves forward to the next round as a Top 10 finalist. Voting for Miss South Africa opens on Thursday, June 25, at 9am and closes on July 16 at 11pm. The public votes will be audited along with the judges’ votes and the Top 10 will be selected from here and announced at the end of July.
Those who want to vote can go to the Miss South Africa website www.misssa.co.za the Computicket website (by making payment via their credit card) or go to the money market counter at any Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Shoprite or Usave and cast their votes on the Computicket system making a cash payment.