Newly crowned Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida, says the country needs to develop an army of empowered women as just one more step to fight gender based violence. She says she hopes to be a representative of the beauty, resilience, and diversity that she says exists in this country.

The 24-year-old beauty from Limpopo and the runners up, faced the media in Cape Town.

Musida says during her reign, her campaign will focus on mental health as one of the least talked about health conditions. She says one in three people is expected to suffer mental illness in their lifetime, but only one in ten will actually access medical health.

 

Musida says it is her experience that mental illness is spoken about as a shame.

She says during her reign she hopes to help confront stereotypes in what she has is a fight inspired by personal experiences.

“For me personally mental health is something that is not really spoken about, its considered a taboo conversation that is often engaged with to shame, so by actually bringing that conversation forward its saying, listen its time, society needs help, society needs to actually stand together to confront this, to tackle this and move forward because if the mind is conquered we will go nowhere.”

She has paid tribute to her predecessor Zozibini Tunzi whom she says has paved the way for people like her to present the natural self.  She wears a short shaven hairstyle.

“She opened the door and I just walked through it and that’s the reason I’m sitting here today. I think representation is important because growing up I never saw a girl like me or Zozi on tv, now I’m sitting here today. She sat here before me and it’s important for the next little girl to see it as well.”

She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria and is currently studying towards her BA Honours in International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The first and second runners-up are Tato Moselle and Natasha Joubert.

In the video below, Shudufhadzo Musida crowned Miss South Africa 2020: