SA goes for glory: Seven fast facts about the Miss Supranational pageant
2021 marks the first year the Miss SA Organisation will be sending a queen to represent Mzansi at this prestigious international competition
With SA beauty queens having previously clinched the Miss World and Miss Universe crowns, fans are familiar with these illustrious competitions.
Lesser known, though, is Miss Supranational, which counts itself along with these pageants as being one of the globe’s “top three most important and prestigious”.
This year, the Miss SA Organisation will be sending a representative to compete at Miss Supranational for the first time.
“We wanted to give the opportunity to another SA woman to shine on the international stage,” says Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss SA Organisation, of this decision.
Here are six other things to know about the Miss Supranational pageant:
1. DR THATO MOSEHLE IS REPRESENTING MZANSI
Medical doctor Mosehle was the first runner-up at the 2020 Miss SA pageant. At that time, she was given the title Miss Supranational SA.
Though Mosehle is not the first woman from Mzansi to compete at Miss Supranational, she is the first to do so under the official Miss SA banner. This year also marks the first time the Rainbow Nation will be represented by a woman of colour at the pageant.
Should she win, Mosehle will make history as the first South African to wear the Miss Supranational crown.
“The run-up to Miss Supranational has been quite different to Miss SA,” says Mosehle. “With Miss SA, there were 10 other girls in the finals, you could do your own thing and it was calmer. Now I am the country’s representative, everyone is rooting for me, everyone expects me to win.
“I don’t let the positive or negative comments get into my head, I just have to focus on my growth and power. The support is much more felt; it’s been insane, lots of messages and interaction from everyone.”
2. THE PAGEANT WAS FOUNDED IN 2009
The first annual Miss Supranational pageant was held in Poland in 2009. This year, beauty queens from 58 different countries are taking part.
Like former Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, the reigning Miss Supranational 2019, Anntonia Porsild of Thailand, was able to hang on to her crown for longer than usual. That’s because the 2020 edition of the pageant was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
3. IT’S ALL ABOUT ASPIRATION AND INSPIRATION
The word “supranational” means to have power or influence that is not restricted by bureaucracy or national boundaries.
“The pageant’s slogan ‘A Platform for Aspirational, Inspirational Women’ really resonated with me,” says Mosehle.
“Entering is about beauty, philanthropy and charm but also about women developing themselves first and then those around them. It encourages us to make goals and make connections, to inspire those following in our footsteps. Progress and growth from the ground up, things everyone can do, with or without a platform.”
4. THE WINNER GETS A CROWN, SASH AND CASH
The contestant who inherits the crown from the reigning Miss Supranational will win $35,000 (about R519,000).
5. THE FINALE IS TAKING PLACE ON SATURDAY
The finale of the 12th Miss Supranational competition will be held on August 21 in the Polish city of Nowy Sącz.
Keep an eye on the Miss SA Organisation’s website and social media accounts for details on where and when you’ll be able to watch the pageant in SA.
6. THERE’S A MISTER SUPRANATIONAL PAGEANT TOO
The Mister Supranational pageant first kicked off in 2016 and the latest edition will feature competitors from 41 countries.
Akshar Birbal, a 24-year-old candidate attorney, will be representing Mzansi this year. He holds the title Mister Supranational SA 2020 and is the second South African to compete.
The reigning Mister Supranational is Nate Crnkovich of the US.
• Additional reporting by Toni Jaye Singer.