For a long time, it looked as if Miss South Africa was not going to take place at all this year. The search for a new sponsor proved to be a difficult one after Cell C decided against renewing their 5-year contract with the sponsorship. However, all that changed when LFP stepped to the fore and before we knew it, we had a show again.
In what feels like an extremely short space of time, we have already reached the last 16 stages and on Thursday morning, with the help of this year's host, Bonang Matheba, we got to meet the competing finalists who will be vying for this year's crown.
Miss South Africa CEO, Stephanie Weil took a moment to tease what's coming up ahead of this year's Miss SA pageant before taking a moment to thank LFP for their support of the 2019 edition of the annual contest. She said, “We are delighted to partner with the LFP Group as we embrace the same principles and consider ourselves, like them, to be Agents of Transformation.”
The air of transformation was evident on the day as we met 16 diverse and incredible young women from different corners of the country and even more different walks of life. We also watched as history was made with the introduction of a first-ever queer contestant (Siba) and a number of finalists whose stories melted our hearts.
Here is this year's Top 16 along with their hometowns:
1. Beulah Baduza; 23; Hatfield, Pretoria.
2. Chuma Matsaluka; 21; Nyanga, Western Cape.
3. Danielle Wallace; 26; Umhlanga, Durban.
4. Eloïse van der Westhuizen; 24; Panorama, Cape Town.
5. Errin Brits; 22; Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg.
6. Keabetswe Kanyane; 25; Montana, Pretoria.
7. Kgothatso Dithebe; 24; Centurion.
8. Lisa Stoffela; 26; Margate, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
9. Loren Leigh Jenneker; 24; Centurion.
10. Noluthando Bennett; 24; Kagiso, Krugersdorp.
11. Nompumelelo Maduna; 24; Rockville, Soweto.
12. Sasha-Lee Olivier; 26; Alberton.
13. Sibabalwe Gcilitshana; 24; Nqamakwe, Eastern Cape.
14. Xia Narain; 23; Chatsworth, Durban.
15. Zanele Phakathi; 20; Soweto.
16. Zozibini Tunzi; 25; Tsolo, Eastern Cape.
Nthabiseng Phoshoko of the LFP group also took a moment to share a brief statement when quizzed on her impression of this year's ladies. She responded favourably by saying, “We firmly believe that we are responsible for choosing who we look up to and that what makes a role model different is what makes them strong”.
With Twitter folks already choosing some of their early favourites, it's going to make an extremely interesting few weeks as we get to know each of the girls a little better ahead of the big show on the 9th of August which also happens to be Women's Day in South Africa.
Miss South Africa will be taking place at the Time Square Arena in Pretoria and we cannot wait to be rubbing shoulders with all the hottest movers and shakers in the country. Make sure you #WatchThisSpace if you want to attend the big finale next month!
Who is your favourite Miss SA 2019 contestant so far?
Miss South Africa garners record number of entries!
Walk in Bonang's stylish shoes
See the best and worst dressed from the Durban July
main image credit: @officialmiss_sa on instagram