Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida: When I saw Zozi saying 'see your face reflected in mine', I saw my face
Shudufhadzo Musida has been on cloud nine ever since she was announced as Miss SA 2020.
“It's still sinking in. I have the crown on my head and I can feel the power coming down. I feel like I am living in a dream and expecting to wake up any minute. I am floating,” she said.
The 24-year-old from Ha-Masia in Limpopo was crowned at a glitzy ceremony on Saturday evening, held in Cape Town for the first time in the competition's 62-year history.
She not only impressed the judges but also scooped the controversial public vote, which saw fans pay to vote their fave contestant into the top 10.
“This title means that my dreams are valid. God changes the narrative irrespective of your surroundings and I am proof of that. I used to watch the show and limit how much I would dream because I live in a village, how can I ever be Miss SA? Now I am here as Miss SA saying your dreams are valid.
“There is an entire village behind me that is so much bigger than me. I have been carried up on a mountain of prayers.”
Her win was described as a “game changer” by many on social media, who hailed her decision to wear a clean cut crown.
Musida said she decided long ago to wear her natural crown and said she was inspired by former Miss SA and current Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi
“I cut my hair five years ago. I was walking back from gym and realised that I always seek validation through my hair and how I look. I saw a salon and went there to cut the very thing that felt like it stifled me. It was for freedom more than anything else. It was about finding myself and not looking outside for it.
“This was my first time entering a beauty pageant. When I saw Zozibini on that stage and she said 'see your face reflected in mine', I saw my face ... When you see beauty moulds being broken and you see yourself represented, you feel like you can do anything. The door was opened and I just walked in”.
She hopes to inspire the young girl child this year, focusing much of her efforts on continuing the fight against food insecurity and bringing awareness to mental health, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas.
“I have had my own struggles with mental health and I come from a rural area and disadvantaged area where when you struggle with mental health you don't speak about it. It is almost a silent, shameful thing, you have to deal with.”
Musida competed with nine other women in Saturday night's finale, with Thato Moselle and Natasha Joubert finishing as first and second runners-up respectively.
Along with the coveted title, she's won a package of prizes and sponsorships worth over R3m — this includes a cool R1m cash.
“The fact that I am Miss SA is still sinking in, the fact that I won a million rand isn't in my head yet. It is exciting but I am just enjoying the moment.”