South Africans only have to wait one more day to meet their new Miss SA as the glittery finale edges nearer.
The finale of the beauty pageant will take place on Saturday in Gauteng, marking a return to the province after being held in the Western Cape last year.
Ten beauties are vying for the top title, with one woman set to follow in newly-crowned Miss Supranational Lalela Mswane’s footsteps.
They are Anarzade Omar, Ayanda Thabethe, Itumeleng Parage, Keaoleboga Nkashe, Lebogang Mahlangu, Luvé Meyer, Luyanda Zuma, Ndavi Nokeri, Pearl Ntshehi and Tamsyn Jack.
Mswane, 24, made SA proud by clinching the coveted title after a three-hour finale in the Strzelecki Park Amphitheatre in Nowy Sącz, Poland.
She beat contestants from 69 countries. Miss Thailand, Miss Venezuela, Miss Vietnam and Miss Indonesia came in behind her.
Her win follows a controversial reign which involved calls for her to not participate in last year’s Miss Universe finale in Israel.
The beauty queen and Miss SA organisers were criticised for their decision to take part in the 70th edition of Miss Universe in Israel, with many urging SA not to take part “in protest at the occupation and cruel treatment of Palestinians at the hands of the apartheid Israeli regime”.
The government eventually withdrew its support for her in protest against the decision. Mswane stood her ground, saying her “soul would not have been at peace” if she had skipped the pageant.
With a day left to this year’s highly-anticipated finale, here are five facts about the Miss SA event.
This year’s finale will take place in the SunBet Arena at Time Square in Pretoria.
According to organisers, it “promises to be a dazzling and entertainment-packed show that will be broadcast live on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) and M-Net (DStv Channel 101) from 6.30pm and streamed for an international audience on the Miss SA app”.
This marks a return to the province after it moved to the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town last year.
This year’s winner will take home a cool package of prizes and sponsorships worth more than R3m. She will “collect R1m in cash from the Miss SA organisation as well as the use of a serviced apartment at the lavish Ellipse Waterfall for the year of her reign” and array of prizes from sponsors, including Mercedes-Benz, American Swiss and Woolworths, according to organisers.
Earlier this month, the Miss SA pageant unveiled eight all-female Miss SA 2022 judges set to sit on Saturday night’s panel.
The panel includes “some of the country’s most respected and influential personalities”. They are former public protector Thuli Madonsela, former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, radio personality Thando Thabethe, former Miss World Rolene Strauss, investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender, reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu and Miss SA 1990 Suzette van der Merwe.
ANELE MDODA AS SOLO HOST
Another surprise was the announcement that media personality Anele Mdoda will host this year’s finale.
Mdoda’s relationship with the pageant dates back to 2013, having been involved first as a judge and then co-host alongside Survivor SA presenter Nico Panagio.
Speaking about hosting this year’s finale alone, the 947 presenter said: “I’m very excited.”
TOP THREE FINALISTS TO REPRESENT SA AT INTERNATIONAL PAGEANTS?
While in previous years the Miss SA winner and her two finalists represented the country at international pageants, namely the Miss World, Universe and Supranational pageants, it remains unclear if this tradition will continue this year.
Last year, organisers and Mswane came under fire over the decision to send her to the Miss Universe and Supranational finales, despite her placing well at both pageants. Shudufhadzo Musida represented SA at the Miss World because it was postponed due to Covid-19.