BUSI MAHLANGU – KWA-MHLANGA KWA-NDEBELE, MPUMALANGA
Name: Busi Mahlangu
Region: Kwa-Mhlanga Kwa-Ndebele Mpumalanga
Occupation: I am an economics student at the University of South Africa doing my 3rd year. I always wanted to see a dramatic change in my country and economic development is one of the prominent factors that determine the well-being of a country. For me to be in that field meant accomplishing my goal of giving back to my country through my career.
Previous beauty competitions/pageants won? Miss Spring Edendale 2007.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? Women and youth empowerment has always been a topic close to my heart. I have so much faith in the influential role of women in society and the nation at large. Research has shown that women have the primary role of bringing up children in our society and with the necessary resources we as women can help break the cycle of poverty. I would like to be the agent of change to help uplift the overall life of women in society which can be achieved through the Miss South Africa brand.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you and why? Basetsana Kumalo inspires me because she has shown that she was not limited in her endeavours by winning Miss South Africa, showing people that this breakthrough did not define her life. She has continually been successful since her crowning and has built an empire through the platform of being a Miss South Africa. That’s my goal.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why? Gill Marcus. Nothing inspires me more than a powerful yet humble leader and woman.
Tell us a bit more about your family? My mother works for a direct selling company called Table Charm, my dad is a principal at a local school in Mpumalanga. I am the eldest of four, my brother is in matric and my twin sisters are still in primary school.
What do you do in your spare time? I like watching the news, reading informative books or just being with friends and family.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? You are not born to merely get by. Find your call, give back through that call and leave an incorruptible footprint. The biggest tragedy is not death but a life without purpose.
If you won the Miss SA crown and were able to meet one person, who would it be and why? Gill Marcus and Thuli Madonsela. They are both powerhouses and are women in the frontlines. They have broken the confines of the role of women in South Africa as they occupy positions which were previously held by men. They have so much power and influence yet they maintain their meekness. I absolutely commend and look up to that.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I’m an adventure junkie.
What are you reading? I always read a book which relates to my current circumstances in order to get insight. A friend gave me a handbook on modelling and pageants by former Miss South Africa, Cindy Nell. I am also reading a book on the character of a leader by Myles Munroe.
What is on your iPod? The new Hillsong and Tamar Braxton.
Your favourite TV show? The news and Top Billing.
Your favourite meal? Anything with chicken.
Anything else you would like to add? I am honoured to be part of the semi-finalists. I can’t wait to continue doing what I know I was born to do, which is to be a humanitarian and a woman activist. It’s great to know that there are people that have faith in you, Thank you Sun International and the Miss South Africa committee for the opportunity.
CHANELLE SARDINHA – FOURWAYS, JOHANNESBURG, GAUTENG
Name: Chanelle Sardinha
Region: Fourways, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Occupation: I am an actress and model. Having recently completed my Honours degree in BA Dramatic Arts at Wits University, this is my first year attempting to break into this industry. Growing up, I enjoyed performing in lead roles in musicals such as Annie, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors, which allowed me to fuel my passion for acting, singing and dancing. I have also developed a love for acting and modelling in front of the camera and want to gain as much experience and exposure as I can in this field. It will also enhance my skills and self-belief. I featured in a number of local and international TV commercials and campaigns such as Dove Hair Care, ABSA, Barclay’s Bank, Oronamin C, American Tourister and Monte Norte.
Previous beauty competitions/pageants won? I was spotted at the age of six by a ‘tuck-shop mom’ at my school, who insisted that my mom enter me into the ‘Little Miss Fourways Mall’ pageant which I won. I was crowned by former Miss South Africa, Bernelee Daniel, and awarded a one-year modelling contract which led to me winning a number of other titles, including Miss Reach for a Dream, Miss UCPA, Miss Cameo Legs, Miss Junior RSA and Miss Sandton Model of the Year, at which I was crowned by yet another Miss South Africa, Yolanda Kloppers.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? I would love to be Miss South Africa because I know who I am and what my country stands for. I pride myself in being approachable, compassionate, humble and enthusiastic. If I am blessed with the opportunity, I will employ a one-on-one approach. I will offer my time to anyone in need. I believe my involvement in the arts will equip me for the Miss South Africa pageant. As a Miss South Africa, you are on display to the world as a global representative of your country. Having studied the art of being in front of an audience on stage and in front of a camera crew, I have honed my energy into being confident in my own skin and ensuring that I remain poised and true to myself in every situation.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you and why? Every former Miss South Africa has inspired our nation and left a mark in their unique way. The two Miss South Africa titleholders who connect with me because of their careers are Basetsana Kumalo and Jo-Ann Strauss who both used the platform to create their own legacies. Basetsana is inspiring, having attained the position of President of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, as well as through her television production company, Tswelopele Productions. Jo-Ann, on the other hand, has become a familiar TV face who epitomises class and poise. Melinda Bam and Rolene Strauss also exemplify the compassionate and nurturing spirit of Miss South Africa, which I truly admire.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why? My role model is my mom. She is never without a smile on her face and always greets people with a warm embrace. She has a love for people and compassion for others, qualities which I strive to emulate.
Tell us a bit more about your family? I come from a family of four consisting of my dad Sidney, my mom Teresa, my older brother Shaun, and me. We are your typical close-knit South African family with a Portuguese heritage who cheer each other on in all of our endeavours. My family mean the world to me and I thank God every day for the love and happiness they constantly show me. My dad is an entrepreneur who specialises in retail. I am “daddy’s girl” and look up to my dad with respect and admiration for his bravery, perseverance and his ability to always put a smile on my face. My mom is a qualified Treasury Dealer but is currently working as a PA to a Director of a company. My friends and I always call her “Mother Teresa” because of her kind and caring nature. She is always helping people wherever she goes. My mom is not only the first person I go to for advice but she is also my best friend. My older brother is a chartered accountant at Deloittes. We are only 19 months apart and therefore have a bond so close that we often consider ourselves to be twins.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I further my knowledge and passion for health and fitness. I am currently doing a Personal Training Certificate to educate myself and others about living a happy and healthy lifestyle. The easiest way for me to unwind and think clearly is by running. I enjoy long distance running and losing myself in my thoughts and returning home with my favourite “endorphin rush”.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? My message is there is nothing more beautiful and empowering than a woman who knows her self-worth. Treasure yourself, motivate yourself and believe that you are only capable of greatness.
If you won the Miss SA crown and were able to meet one person, who would it be and why? I would love to meet as many people in need as possible. I want to walk in their shoes, hear their stories, make them laugh, see them smile and leave with them understanding their full potential.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Although I am extremely feminine in the way I present myself, people might be surprised to know that there is a tomboy side to me. I love learning about cars and engines and thoroughly enjoy all adrenaline-junkie activities. I recently bungee jumped off the Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bungee jump in the world. It was the craziest yet most exhilarating thing I have ever done!
What are you reading? I am currently indulging in the book Lean In by COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg. It is proving to be an extremely fascinating and empowering read. Sandberg writes about gender inequality in the workplace and how we as women, and a nation, can promote equality through focusing on our strengths and rights as women instead of our pre-conceived ‘weaknesses’.
What is on your iPod? I use my iPod while running and at gym and play mostly upbeat dance music. I particularly enjoy songs with one-liners of motivation which encourage and linger with me.
Your favourite TV show? My favourite TV show is Suits. I find law extremely fascinating and particularly love the lead character, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), as she is the senior partner of a highly successful law firm and is not only an extremely talented actress but a vision of female power and strength onscreen.
Your favourite meal? My favourite food is Asian food, in particular sushi. Having travelled to Thailand a year ago, I developed a new-found appreciation for Asian culture, food and its people.
DANELLE DE WET – KUILS RIVER, CAPE TOWN, WESTERN CAPE
Name: Danelle de Wet
Region: Kuils River, Cape Town, Western Cape.
Occupation: I am a first year BCom Marketing student at the IMM Graduate School of Marketing. Once I have obtained my degree I would like to study further and work towards getting my MBA and then start up my own PR company.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you and why? Melinda Bam, Miss South Africa 2011, who changed the game by making Miss South Africa more relevant to modern times and leaving a legacy, which she predicted at the start of her reign. Then there is Nicole Flint, Miss South Africa 2009, who, on each occasion I’ve bumped into her, was kind, friendly and humble. She has left her mark on the Miss South Africa Pageant. These women also did respectable charity work, which one could see was real and came from the heart. I aspire to become a Miss South Africa that is the perfect blend of all these amazing qualities.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why? Someone who has inspired me and continues to do so is Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela. She is a woman of integrity and perseverance and puts all her focus on the future of South Africa and the dignity of its citizens. Neutral to all political parties, she has become the country’s top fighter in eradicating corruption, and has never stopped sacrificing her time and energy for what she believes is right. I wouldn’t say I have just one role model; I have a handful of people to whom I look up to. Each of these people has one or two personality and characteristic traits that I admire and try to implement into my own life as I mature.
Tell us a bit more about your family: My father and mother are my pillars of strength. My mother is a self-employed estate agent and my father runs his own construction company. My sisters, regardless of how distant we are in ages, remain close. My eldest sister is 34 and works at an Information Technology firm. My middle sister is 27 and is a qualified physiotherapist.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I model and train hard at gym, where I do a bit of Muaythai and I recently began doing yoga. Other things I enjoy doing is hiking, travelling the world and snorkelling.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? You are more powerful than you know. This mostly applies to the young women in the world but can be a message to all. Young women in this country, regardless of their background, need to realise their worth and their potential. They need to fight for a better future and for their education. You can’t sit back and wait for things to come to you, you have to go out there and get it. I don’t come from the wealthiest of communities but I never let that determine my success and my dreams. If you want something, you are the only thing holding yourself back. If you don’t get it right the first time, keep trying! I am the perfect example of that – this is my third entry into Miss South Africa. It is what I want, and it’s something I can feel deep inside. If I did not pick myself up and try again, how would I ever be able to show people that with passion, determination and hard work, all your dreams will transpire?
If you won the Miss South Africa crown and were able to meet one person, who would it be and why? I would love to me meet Thuli Madonsela, of course, and soak up all the wisdom and knowledge she has. She has learnt how to remain neutral, humble and how to stay determined and driven no matter how difficult things may get. If the crown was a time travel machine – Nelson Mandela (while he was president) – just to get insight into the mind of someone who changed an entire nation for the better.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? That I am an ex-dancer and have been for 10 years.
What are you reading? Well the last book I read was Donald Trump’s Think Big.
What is on your iPod? Goodluck – Trickery (And it’s on repeat!)
Your favourite TV show? Modern Family and CSI
Your favourite meal? Basil-pesto baked snapper fillet. It’s yummy.
Anything else you would like to add? If you work really hard, and you are kind – success is inevitable.