Could having Anele Mdoda as a judge be good luck for Miss SA 2020?

15 October 2020 - 14:41 By Toni Jaye Singer
Radio host Anele Mdoda (centre) was on the judging panel when Zozibini Tunzi (left) and Rolene Strauss (right) were crowned Miss SA. Both went on to win international titles.
Radio host Anele Mdoda (centre) was on the judging panel when Zozibini Tunzi (left) and Rolene Strauss (right) were crowned Miss SA. Both went on to win international titles.
Image: Paras Griffin / Stringer/Getty Images; Nick_Boulton; Simphiwe Nkwali/Sunday Times

Charismatic radio host Anele Mdoda will once again be taking a seat at the judges' table for the upcoming finale of the 2020 Miss SA pageant. It'll be her second consecutive year on the panel.

Last year, Phat Joe threw shade at Mdoda by questioning whether she was qualified to judge the competition, but she clearly knows how to pick a winner: the beauty queens she's helped crown in the past have gone on to bag major international titles.

This includes Miss SA 2014, Rolene Strauss, who went on to wear the Miss World crown, and 2019's winner, Zozibini Tunzi, who later took the Miss Universe title.

Could having Mdoda as a judge be the good luck charm that sees Miss SA 2020 follow suit?

Speaking of Tunzi, the reigning Miss Universe is also a member of this year's judging panel, along with former Miss SA and CEO of Standard Bank Wealth, Nonhlanhla Peggy-Sue Khumalo, and actress Leandie du Randt. A fifth judge is still to be announced.

So what is Mdoda looking for in the future Miss SA?

“Same thing I look for every year,” she says. “Someone who comes in with their own blueprints of what beauty is and takes us on their journey. We are merely facilitators in someone’s journey. You have to make me believe your plan.”

Embracing the idea that there's no one set definition of beauty is one of the ways Mdoda believes the pageant has changed over the years.

“For a long time we relied on the international tone to tell us what beautiful is and now we are saying these are our standards of beauty and we can't be dictated to,” she explains.

In line with this, while Mdoda agrees that Miss SA 2020 has big shoes to fill, she implies that she needs to blaze her own trail, declaring: “She must bring her own shoes!”

• The 2020 Miss SA finale will take place at The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town at 5pm on October 24. It'll be aired on M-Net and Mzansi Magic as well as being streamed online.