Four beauties from the City of Tshwane - including a doctor, pilot, environmentalist and an attorney - are in line to be the next Miss South Africa.
They will join 26 others in the race to receive the crown from title holder Shudufhadzo Musida in this year's illustrious beauty pageant.
The four were announced as part of the 2021 top 30 pick, featuring an impressive and diverse group of contestants, which include medical doctors, an attorney, a commercial pilot, an environmental specialist, as well as models, graduates and students.
This year's top 30 contestants include 12 contenders from Gauteng, four from Tshwane, seven from the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal with four entrants, three from the Eastern Cape, two from the Free State, as well as one contestant each coming from the North West and Limpopo provinces.
Among them is Kgothatso Dithebe, 26, from Centurion, who is hoping that the second time around may just be her turn. She had in fact come up to the top 5 during the 2019 Miss South Africa pageant.
Dithebe is an LLB student with Unisa, who also runs her company dealing with construction and the supply of goods and services.
She said one of the many reasons she chose to take part in the pageant was to represent her country as a solid, growing and relatable young woman.
Most importantly, she said as someone who had been bullied, and seeing how bullying and cyber bullying was rapidly increasing in the country, leading to a lot of suicides and mental health issues, Dithebe said she wanted to inspire others through her own ordeal.
"The story of the beautiful young girl who was bullied and who committed suicide because she could not take it anymore, has urged me to enter Miss South Africa once again, to be loud and to ensure I spread the message across all borders," she said.
Meanwhile, BCom Law and LLB graduate Pearl Ntshehi, 24, also from Centurion, said she entered the pageant in order to practise one of the things she constantly told the young women she trained through her company, which was to “go after what your heart desires, set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them.”
Ntshehi said she still believed in the relevance of beauty pageants as they had evolved to ensure women defined what being beautiful was in their own view, and sharing it with the world, unapologetically, on a great platform.
Dorandia resident Kgatlhiso Modisane, 27, is an attorney and part-time taxation student with the University of Pretoria, and she said she believed women still had a long way to go.
"The challenges that face women daily are still prevalent in our society, while laws and regulations seldom change attitudes. It is our responsibility to make more progress for our young girls," she said.
Modisane said she entered the pageant as she believed the experiences in her life had made her street smart, and groomed her into being a woman of integrity, honesty, intelligence and compassion that she wished to share with the future generation.
She said that one such lesson came when she failed two of her Attorney’s Board exams.
"One lesson my mother has always taught me is to leave room for disappointment. As earth-shattering as any disappointment can be, understanding that nothing is guaranteed, makes me appreciate what I have achieved," she said.
And Soshanguve beauty Precious Mndalama is a 23 year-old third-year law student at Unisa, and she said she ventured into law as she hoped her qualification would help her serve and protect society, and to become a legal representative for models.
"Beauty pageants are an effective way to campaign for the awareness of different social issues and problems. It is also an avenue to develop and empower women to speak up, and be confident in their own bodies," she said.
For the next few weeks the 30 contestants will strut their stuff to impress this year's judges and all former Miss South Africa titleholders, which include Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala from 2010, Liesl Laurie the 2015 titleholder, first-time judges Melinda Bam, who was Miss South Africa 2011, and Miss South Africa for 2018, Tamaryn Green.
The public is the fifth judge in selecting the Top 10 finalists, and can start sending in their votes as of yesterday until midnight on July 21 to vote for their favourite contestants.