I had the best time this past weekend at the annual Miss Earth South Africa gala event, which aims to not only crown a new Miss Earth South Africa – but also bring awareness to the earth and the responsibility that lies with each one of us to protect and save this planet that we live on.
Congrats to our 2017 winner, Irini Moutzouris who is a dynamic and determined individual, completing her final year as an education student she says waste and the education around waste and recycling is key and is everyone’s responsibility and says that she “believes we all need to be re-educated on waste and our own role in the waste management of the city.” Moutzouris who is originally from Klerksdorp in the North West is completing her Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of Pretoria.
“To me, being a Miss Earth South Africa winner, means being a role model to fellow South Africans and an ambassador and voice for the Environment and creating awareness about the environmental problems we face on a daily basis, especially in waste management.” Irini Moutzouris.
It has been an intense few months for the finalists who have been hard at work, with a mission to change the perception and understanding of waste through the campaign; #WasteStopsWithME which was launched a year ago, with partners the City of Johannesburg, Pikitup, Tsogo Sun and SANBI. Not only did these young women take to the streets of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Bloemfontein, but they stretched their campaign to Clayville, Durban, Polokwane, East London, Mpumalanga, Randburg, Diepsloot, Soweto, Port Elizabeth and across South Africa.
The primary objective being to create awareness and to keep our cities clean, they organised themselves and arranged community clean up’s, beach clean up’s and extensive educational programmes at a grass roots level in communities, townships and rural areas.
The Runner Ups, for 2017, included; Orielia Egambaram 1st Runner Up from Tshwane; Bianca Rungasamy 2nd Runner up from Kwa-Zulu Natal and Rose Mantsho 3rd Runner up from Limpopo. The two ambassadors announced were Marianna Christophi for the City of Johannesburg and Lebogang Mokoena.
Ella Bella Constantinides Leite, Director of the programme said; “It’s rewarding to see the growth and influence of the Miss Earth South Africa programme, over a period of more than fourteen years we can confidentially say we have empowered, educated and encouraged young women from around South Africa to become Environmental ambassadors and role models in their communities.”
The Gala Evening was hosted by Tsogo Sun at the Montecasino Ballroom where a very impressive guest list including various Ambassadors, dignitaries and UN diplomats, alongside South African celebs and change makers!
The Miss Earth programme is proud to work throughout the year with Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg alongside Tsogo Sun, the official home and venue partner of Miss Earth South Africa and strategic partners SAPPI, SANBI, The Department of Environmental Affairs, UN Environment and Newsclip Media Monitoring.
Executive Director of Miss Earth South Africa, Catherine Constantinides says; “Heroes don’t live in story books they live amongst us and we as the Miss Earth have to ensure we empower and inspire these young ladies to be active citizens and be those heroes we need in society to allow us to change the problems we face on the social and the environmental parts of society.”
Find out more: www.missearthsa.co.za