As a record number of entries are received for the competition, the four Miss South Africa 2020 first-round judges have been announced.
They are Miss South Africa judging veteran Anele Mdoda and former Miss South Africa title holders Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala (2010), Liesl Laurie (2015) and Adè van Heerden (2017).
The four 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.
Radio and television personality Anele 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.”
Broadcaster and former Miss South Africa Liesl Laurie, one of the judges at the first stage last year, says she always tells the story of Zozi explaining to the judges the reason she entered Miss SA: “ ‘I wanted to settle once and for all who the prettiest lady in my family is…’ and she immediately stood out to me. Never mind her striking beauty and infectious smile, the fact that she had a sense of humour said to me that she knew there’s a time and a place for everything. That she knew that she needed to make an impression and did so by being her authentic self. It was evident from the beginning that she is exceptionally intelligent and understood that she was sitting in one of the most important job interviews of her life.”
Former Miss South Africa Dr Adè van Heerden says she is honoured to join the judging panel for the first time: “This is not is just a beauty pageant; the winner becomes a South African female leader. Because our nation is so diverse, I am looking for a multifaceted woman. A woman who radiates a 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.”
Says CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation, Stephanie Weil: “We are delighted with the number of entries received and the excitement surrounding this year’s pageant, which is reflected in those record numbers. We are also thrilled with the quality of entrants and believe that the judges are going to have a hard time choosing 16 semi-finalists.”
Recently it was announced that, 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.
Find out more online HERE…