The Official Miss South Africa beauty pageant has revealed The four Miss South Africa 2020 first round judges. On the panel of judges is famous host Anele Mdoda, former Miss South Africa title holders Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala (2010), Liesl Laurie (2015) and Adè van Heerden (2017).
They are currently going through more than 2 500 entries received – a record number for the pageant – from which they will choose 35 contestants to participate in the virtual interview rounds before a top 16 is announced
Radio and television personality Anele Mdoda said “It’s never about the judges; it is the belief the young women have in themselves. We just serve as a springboard; the crown finds the contestant whilst she is looking for it,” she says. Anele added by making clear what her expectations are. “I have always looked for authenticity and a strong sense of self. We are not looking for the next Zozi! We want the first you! Be true to yourself. During the judging processes, I have seen a lot of entrants going through all the news channels and reading every newspaper because there is fear that we as judges want to catch them out. We don’t. We are not forcing an entrant to know everything but just to be aware of how your fellow South Africans live. Show us that your existence is not the only one you are aware of and be careful of having one narrative.”
Former Miss SA and Broadcaster Liesl Laurie says that judging by the high calibre of this year’s Miss South Africa 2020 entries, South Africa is ready for any international pageant. “The pageant has definitely evolved on so many levels since I entered in 2015. The diversity and representation on stage is something that makes me so excited to be a part of this amazing brand. Another thing that stands out is that we are definitely more prepared for the international stages from the early stages of the pageant – almost every girl in the semi-final stage is ready to take on Miss Universe and Miss World,” she says.
Recently it was announced that, for the first time in the history of the Miss South Africa pageant, the top three finalists would represent the country at the world’s three most prestigious pageants. Previously, the Miss South Africa Organisation has sent a representative to both Miss Universe and Miss World, but will also now be fielding an entrant to Miss Supranational.