Miss South Africa 2021, Lalela Mswane, has received a warm welcome at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban as she returned to her home province for the first time after competing in the controversial Miss Universe pageant in Israel.
The 24-year-old Mswane took third place in the beauty pageant in December last year.
The Richards Bay-born beauty queen made headlines after deciding to participate in the competition despite calls to boycott the pageant due to continued human rights violations of Palestinians.
Several South African government departments also withdrew support for Mswane.
Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane crowned second runner-up at Miss Universe 2021 pageant:
Many models from Mswane’s hometown in Richards Bay on the north coast of the province braved the gloomy weather and took part in the Miss South Africa homecoming festivities.
Sinothile Gumede and Amahle Nxumalo had this to say.
“We are here to fetch our queen Miss South Africa, modelling is not about the body it is about yourself and representing your area, representing your community, I am so happy like oh my goodness in KwaSokhulu like our neighbour we were so happy we were jumping of joy.
“I am here to welcome my sister, she’s like a sister to me because we are in the same category we are models and she inspires me the most we are here to welcome her back home.”
Meanwhile, Mswane says the support from her home soil is overwhelming.
“I am feeling overwhelmed by the love and support I’ve received in KZN. I think as anybody, real love from home feels different, the journey opened my eyes to the harsh reality we all face especially as women. We all share certain things in common in terms of my journey as Miss South Africa, a lot of brands have warmed up towards me and what I stand for.”
#sabcnews #sabckzn Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane received a warm welcome at her home province KZN. Arriving at the King Shaka International Airport she met her family and interacted with her fans including models from her home town. pic.twitter.com/SQPMNIYCsW
— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) February 5, 2022
Lalela Mswane crowned Miss South Africa 2021: