Miss SA unveils seven ‘respected, influential’ panellists to judge pageant finale
With just over two weeks to go until South Africans meet their new Miss SA, the organisation has unveiled this year's selection panel which boasts a number of “respected and influential personalities” such as UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng and media personality Dineo Ranaka.
Miss SA 2021 will be crowned on October 16 at the Grand Arena, GrandWest, in Cape Town in a glittering finale which will be broadcast on DStv and streamed online.
Last week, the organisation announced that former Miss Universe and Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi will return to her pageant roots as one of the backstage presenters during the finale. She will be sharing the stage with her Miss Universe predecessor and friend Catriona Gray.
On Tuesday, the pageant announced that reigning Miss Universe Andrea Meza will join six other panellists judging the top ten finalists.
These include another former Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach; former Miss SA title holders Basetsana Kumalo and Tamaryn Green; actress Shannon Esra; Phakeng and Ranaka.
Talking about the upcoming finale and her first ever visit to SA, Meza said, “I am thrilled to be visiting SA — I want to try traditional food (and see if there are vegan variants of it) and hope to visit Robben Island!
“I am as delighted to be on the Miss SA selection panel. I want to see the contestants’ personalities and their presence. I know that an international pageant such as Miss Universe looks for someone who is confident about herself and who is unafraid to break the mould.
“My advice to them is to live in the moment because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Do what feels right for you, don’t change who you are because you want to fit in. Embrace your uniqueness!”
Adding to that was Phakeng, who joins Wurtzbach, Esra and Ranaka as first time judges at the pageant, who said, “I will be looking for a smart young woman with a memorable presence, magnetic personality and clear vision for how they will take advantage of the opportunity to use the Miss SA platform to make a sustainable societal impact.
“This is a lifetime opportunity for the finalists to connect and network with smart, ambitious women from all over the country. Irrespective of the outcome, each of the Top 10s story is one of victory, and to the winner, remember that the crown does not define you, you define it.”