In a spectacular ceremony held at Cape Town’s Table Bay Hotel, Shudufhadzo Musida was crowned this year’s Miss South Africa after winning over the hearts of judges and those watching at home with her electric personality, gorgeous looks and determination.
Shudu takes over the crown from reigning queen Sasha-Lee Olivier and is looking forward to making a difference through her reign.
As she celebrates her big win, we get up close and personal with Shudu who opens up about this momentous event in her life just minutes after winning the crown.
What will you do now that you are Miss South Africa?
I am passionate about mental health awareness and the economic and educational empowerment of women and children – especially in disadvantaged communities. In many disadvantaged and rural communities mental health is often overlooked and disregarded. As such, destigmatising mental health will be at the forefront of my social initiatives as it provides a healthy foundation for issues such as economic and educational empowerment to be tackled successfully. It is more important now more than ever because of COVID-19 to check in on mental health, especially in the education sector with children having to adapt to so many changes in their daily lives, and more so in disadvantaged communities where poverty has been exacerbated.
How did you handle the lockdown due to the Covid 19?
I took the time to prioritise my own mental health and myself. It’s been difficult but you learn to be kind to yourself and remember that these are unusual circumstances and it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. I have been blessed to find peace in this tough time.
What has this time taught you?
It has taught me that I don’t need big victories. Small victories, such as taking an hour out to meditate or complete a task is enough. Sometimes we search for joy when it lies with gratitude for just waking up.
2020 has been a tough year globally. Do you see any positives in what has happened in the past months and weeks?
We got to appreciate human interaction and what the beauty of being outside means. Now we appreciate the beauty of nature and of our loved ones. This has been a return to self.
What do you love most about South Africa?
The cultures, the food, the people – the people are everything. Also, our ability to love and find joy in the darkest of times.
What would you like to change about South Africa?
The stigma against mental health and the disregard towards gender-based violence.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you and why?
Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi inspired me to enter because of her grace and her ability to make a statement without straining her voice.
Who are your role models?
My role models include Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Toni Morrison, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Gcuka and Amina J. Mohammed. They are such strong women with so much grace. They inspire me to be better versions of myself.
Tell us a bit more about your family:
I live with my mother, Thandi (42) who is a real estate agent, and I have a little sister, Zwonka (13) who is in Grade 8.
What do you do in your spare time?
I sing, practice the keyboard and read.
Do you think beauty pageants are still relevant today?
Pageants will always be relevant because they are embedded in our society. They also evolve with the times, so it’s no longer just a showcase of a woman’s beauty but the beauty of her mind too and how she can be of service to others beyond herself.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
Love yourselves first, fight for what you want and for yourself too. But remember fighting doesn’t always have to be loud or vocal – it can be as simple as being silent and choosing to prioritise your peace.
What is the No 1 piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?
Describe yourself in three words:
Caring, smart, blessed.
What music are you listening to?
Usher, disco, and gospel in the mornings.
What are your favourite TV shows?
Little Fires Everywhere and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
What is your favourite meal?
Who’s your local and international celeb crush?
Local crush is Trevor Noah (if he is still considered local) and international is Miguel.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Woolworths caramel centred cupcakes.