11 July 2019

South Africa: Cries of Melanin, Plus Size, Queer and Natural Hair as Miss South Africa Finalists Debut

Photo: Miss South Africa
Here are the Miss South Africa 2019 top 16 finalists.

Cape Town — After a gruelling selection process, 16 contestants battle it out because only one will walk away with the crown.

The glamorous event will held on Women's Day on the 9th of August at the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria.

The winner will walk away with close to R3 million in prize money and sponsorships.

Popular TV personality Bonang Matheba will once again host the show and her bubbly House of BNG will also be the official Miss South Africa celebration sponsor.

Social media has been lit with many complementing how diverse the contestants has been represented this year.

There was much excitement about the contestants and how diverse they are:

@Nontando58 - Melanin is well represented 😍😍#MissSA2019

@tumisole - This year's Miss SA is testament that the Company listened and took proper advise! Melanin🔥🔥🔥🔥

@roxxy_amanda - Before I support anyone, Is it the turn of a black, a colored/Indian or a white to win this year?  🤔🤔🤔 They should not play with us, we know they rotate   #MissSA2019

@Cliff_Mampz - Wow melanin galore in this year's #MissSA2019 finalists 😱🔥🔥🔥

@itssandisiwe - As a fellow lightskinned woman, my Melanin Beautiful Chocolate sisters between take that crown especially Chuma 💕💕💕

@tnvenge - And the#MissSA2019 top 16 announcement kicks off on a historic note. Siba is the first ever queer finalist to compete in Miss South Africa! 😍 🏳️‍🌈🌈 In a week dominated by homophobia, we needed this 🙏🏿

@ThandoMfundisi - SA: We want adequate representation of South African beauty! @Official_MissSA : Say No More #MissSA2019 #MissSATop16 #MissSA

The show will be broadcast live on both M-Net and Mzansi Magic.

Meet the top 16 finalists

Chuma Matsaluka
A 21-year-old from Nyanga, Cape Town who is in her third year of a BA Degree at UCT. She is majoring in anthropology, industrial sociology and political studies. Matsaluka enjoys hiking, going on coffee dates with myself, reading and spending time with family and friends. Her guilty pleasure is watching the Crime and Investigation channel while tucking into ice cream.

Kgothatso Dithebe
A 24-year-old Centurion LLB student with a unique facial birthmark that has taught her resilience. Growing up, Kgothatso's birthmark made her feel insecure and often being ridiculed by her peers, she wants to bring hope to those who feel mistreated, misplaced or misunderstood. She wants to show others that being different can be a blessing.

Xia Narain
The 23-year-old from Chatsworth, Durban teaches ramp walking. She is passionate about inspiring self-esteem at a modelling school. She also has a BA degree and plans to do her honours in clinical psychology next year. Xia's ideal dinner table would include Madiba, Princess Diana, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Senn.

Noluthando Bennett
The 24-year-old hails from Kagiso, Krugersdorp and is multi-media and web design freelancer. Bennett is inspired by Jacqui Mofokeng (Miss South Africa 1993) and U.S. filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Bennett loves to read and watching documentaries when she isn't in front of the camera.

Zanele Phakathi
A 20-year-old UJ student from Soweto. Affecitonately known as Zaza, she has more than 70 pageant titles to her name. Zanele was involved in a car accident last year and lost the hearing in her left ear but hasn't let it interfere with how she lives her life. In her spare time you'll find her curled up with a book – and a slab of chocolate.

Loren Leigh Jenneker
A 24-year-old aspiring forensic accountant from Centurion in Pretoria. Loren is working towards a BCom in finance at UJ, while tutoring kids who struggle to read. Her guilty treat is a milk-tart cronut, is an avid book collector and loves travelling and hiking.

Keabetswe Kanyane
A 25-year-old mala mogodu loving analyst from Pretoria. Currently working on her BCom honours at the University of Johannesburg, Kea loves the gym and also enjoys entertaining, cooking and planning game nights. She loves gospel music and binge watching The Walking Dead.

Sasha-Lee Olivier
A 26-year-old, plus size model from Alberton, Johannesburg. Sasha-Lee is pursuing a double major in marketing and psychology at Wits. She enjoys fishing and is an art lover and can often be found in a gallery or museum. She's a proud Bey Hive member and loves cheesecake while binging on her favourite TV show, Big Bang Theory.

Zozibini Tunzi
A 25-year-old completing her BTech in PR from Cape Town. Her role models are her parents and Caster Semenya, whom she'd love to meet. Zozibini is a hard-core Marvel fan, was a Game of Thrones addict and enjoys eating out.

Eloïse van der Westhuizen
A 24-year-old merchandise planner from Panorama in Cape Town. She has a BCom honours degree from the University of Stellenbosch. Eloïse lists outgoing Miss SA amaryn Green as her role model – Tamaryn's #MissSA2018 campaign, Break the Stigma, and opening up about her journey with TB helped Eloïse open up about her own TB battle.

Sibabalwe Gcilitshana
A 24-year-old parliamentary officer from Bellville in Cape Town. A researcher for Equal Education (EE), Siba is inspired by Cynthia Shange, who won the Miss Black SA title in 1972 and became the first black South African to enter Miss Universe. Siba loves singing, finds her zen with meditation and hiking and has downtime binging on Breaking Bad and Killing Eve.

Errin Brits
A 22-year-old LLB student from Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg. Her role models include former public protector Thuli Madonsela and Peggy-Sue Khumalo, who was crowned Miss SA in 1996 and is now a successful businesswoman. Errin loves hip-hop and Ed Sheeran, eating chocolate and spending time in the library.

Lisa Stoffela
A 26-year-old pizza lover from Morningside in Johannesburg. This BCom graduate and owner of a small pizza takeaway business loves tucking into pizza and pasta. Lisa loves spending time with family and friends, working out at the gym and experimenting with flavours in the kitchen.

Beulah Baduza
She is a proudly plus size 23-year-old aspiring lawyer completing her LLB degree at the University of Pretoria. Beulah loves working out, singing, travelling, cycling, watching Netflix and reading. If she could invite six people to dinner they would be her mom, Naomi Campbell, Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Serena Williams.

Danielle Wallace
She is a 26-year-old avid hiker and holder of a BSc degree from Cape Town. She worked in marketing as a brand manager before leaving to further her modelling career. Danielle believes in balance and loves spending times outdoors, but never says no to staying in her pyjamas all day and binging Netflix.

Nompumelelo Maduna
She is a 24-year-old private banker from Rockville in Soweto. Her goal is to be the Miss SA to inspire and empower others by showing anything is possible if you work hard. This University of Johannesburg graduate keeps fit by playing netball and golf and teaches confidence building and etiquette at a modelling school.

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