Miss SA Lalela Mswane on secrets no-one knows and Covid-19's silver lining
Fast facts about Mzansi's newly crowned queen
“Graceful, tenacious and meticulous” is how Miss SA 2021 Lalela Mswane describes herself.
The 24-year-old from KwaSokhulu, near Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, was crowned during the pageant's dazzling finale in Cape Town on Saturday.
As the newest Miss SA, Mswane is also Mzansi's newest millionaire. Along with the coveted title, she's won a package of prizes and sponsorships worth more than R4m — this includes R1m in cash.
Here are some other things you might not know about her:
BEAUTY AND BRAINS
Mswane is a model and dancer — “my posture gives it away” — who holds a law degree from the University of Pretoria.
Along with winning Miss SA, she counts completing her legal qualification in the “minimum time” as one of her biggest accomplishments to date.
CAUSE SHE'S PASSIONATE ABOUT
Mswane believes that the country's high unemployment rate “not only affects our youth but is the source of many of the social ills so prevalent in SA”.
She'd like to use the Miss SA platform to shine a spotlight on this issue as well as to “seek meaningful solutions which will have long-lasting effects towards its rebate”.
One such solution is the creation of a campaign that “aims to offer support to young people to assist them to create their own employment opportunities by means of entrepreneurial skills and, in doing so, empowering them to be self-sufficient and to secure their own economic futures”.
As Mswane put it on the Miss SA stage: “It’s time that ... we create our own tables as opposed to waiting for the allocation of seats.”
BORA BORA IS ON HER BUCKET LIST
The queen would like to take a weeklong vacation on this small island in the South Pacific along with her mom and older sister and brother.
While there she'd likely have plenty of opportunity to indulge in her favourite food, which is seafood.
SECRETS NO-ONE KNOWS
On the Miss SA website, Mswane reveals that people would be surprised to know that she sucked her thumb for the first 18 years of her life.
She also confesses that her guilty pleasure is “dancing and singing in front of a mirror as if she were performing for a sold-out show”.
COVID'S SILVER LINING
When asked by the Miss SA organisation if she's seen any positives in what has happened since the Covid-19 pandemic started, Mswane replied that “the unity, compassion and empathy that people have displayed is beautiful.
“My hope inhumanity was restored as I witnessed and continue to witness the kindness and grace people are extending to each other. Where one lacks, another provides. While the pandemic has taken so much from us, we choose to lead with love and goodwill.”