Shudufhadzo also reflects on her first 2 years as Miss SA
It’s been 2 months since Shudufhadzo Musida was crowned Miss South 2020/2021 on 14 October 2020 in Cape Town. Since she took on the reigns, South Africans have been having mixed reactions about how they feel about her. While most people just love her for who she is, critics have been ridiculing her for her looks, with some saying she is not beautiful enough to be Miss South Africa.
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Beauty pageants are not only about beauty but there is a lot of factors to them. We love the fact that Shudu and Miss South Africa organisation have never publicly entertained hurtful comments, especially from photos that were taken during her homecoming. Her defence force and many good South Africans defended her by putting critics at their place.
The beauty and brainy queen sat down with Newzroom Afrika reporter, Mbali Thethani on an exclusive interview on Sunday. The interview took place in her lavish Central Square apartment and the purpose was to reflect on the journey and just to speak about this and that. They touched on her bullying experience when she was young. The curvy Shudu wore a black long-necked belted and body-hugging dress and looked exquisite. And as they say Black ke colour ya manyora, Shudu looked like the queen she is. Below are highlights of the interview:
Mbali ~ how has the journey been since you took on the reigns and how are you feeling?
Shudu ~the biggest thing has been jumping from one interview to another an also trying to figure out what the vision is for this year but it has been absolutely amazing being an ambassador of this beautiful country
Mbali – take us back to the crowning moment, did you ever think at any point in time that you will ever be Miss South Africa?
Shudu – not at all. Growing up in my grandmother’s house I used to sit and watch beauty pageantries with so much interest and admiration and I would think me being an introvert, I will never be able to answer those tell us about yourself questions. I didn’t think it’s attainable because of so many factors attached to beauty pageantry.
Mbali – what then gave you the confidence that anyone can archive a dream like this?
Shudu – in all honesty, last year when Zozi won Miss University, I saw my face reflected in hers but the biggest thing that gave me confidence was when a friend put up my picture on social media and wrote Miss South Africa 2020. I saved the picture on my phone and I decided to enter especially because my initials are Miss SA. When 2020 started I wrote down visions and Miss SA was one of them. I was nervous at the journey but told myself I had nothing to lose. She advices girls who endeavour to be anything to work hard in making sure their dreams are a reality.
Mbali – Take us back to your childhood in Ha-Masia
Shudu – I had so much fun with everyone playing all kinds of childhood village games. Grandmother and Aunt loved all the children and taught us values. Great grandmother, mom, aunt and grandma have shaped the woman that I am today and how I present myself to the world. They taught us that we should treat all people with respect irrespective of their status in life because you will never know where life puts them tomorrow. Their lessons have helped me in my relations in life. Granny ruled with iron fist but she also wanted everyone to be happy and great.
Mbali – tell us about your bullying story as a child
Shudu – the bullying happened when I moved from the villages to a new school. It was a huge transition. I was bubbly and famous in the villages but at the new environment, I was not allowed to be myself. People found it OK to bring me down and at a time when I was only trying to discover myself. This happened at the tender age of 9 and 14 years. I developed low self-esteem and self-love was almost absent and it took me time to realise that it was actually never about me but the people who are doing the bullying. I moved into that place and I was no longer bubbly. I was bullied for not knowing English and not knowing how to express myself in English, it was not even about my looks. I then decided to love myself, empower, motivate, prioritise and see good things about myself.
Mbali – Most people say beauty pageants are just about beauty and nothing else and more. Why do you think society should care about beauty pageants?
Shudu ~that’s a misconception. Miss South Africa organization works so hard to give contestants personal development through workshops. They make them realize that the only thing they should worry about is what they have to offer to the society and it’s not sorely about them. She has learned so much about herself and even the questions that they ask during the pageantry are about what contestants will offer. Miss SA organisation taught them to know their values and what they stand for before stepping onto that stage. To those thinking beauty pageants are irrelevant, they are relevant and they are really not only about the looks. Before embarking on the journey, Musida did not even know who she was and her being there was sorely based on her looks but it’s not about that. She further said that just a few days ago, she was at a presidential dialogue and if Miss SA was based only on looks then she has nothing to offer.
Shudufhadzo shares a birthday with Nelson Mandela. Asked how it feels to share a birthday with a world icon, the well-soft-fast-spoken beauty said sharing a birthday with Nelson Mandela always gave her hope for becoming great when she was young. When she won Miss South Africa, Mam Felicia congratulated her. “I am a fan of pagents. Proud to have judged at least five Miss SA pageants. Thanks to Doreen Morris. Congrats @abigailmusida! You truly epitomise my favourite chant: you are bright, brave, bold, beautiful & blessed #DIVA! I see you are born in Madiba’s birthday. You’ll do good. said Felicia Mabuza Suttle in a tweet.