Iman Mkwanazi (26) is a professional model who also happens to run her own construction company. Hailing from Lenasia, Iman says that she is really shy and often goes red in the face when meeting new people who pay her compliments. Her favourite Miss South Africa is Basetsana Kumalo whom she admires for her business skills. In her spare time Iman reads while also visiting new restaurants, going to art galleries and hiking.
23-year-old Boipelo Mabe from Alexandra is a full time Masters student, model and news reader on Soweto TV. She was a classical ballet dancer for nine years. She credits her father as her greatest role model. “From him I have learned the principles of hard work, standing for what I believe in and to be independent. I used to be embarrassed by the fact that my dad was a taxi driver but today I have grown to embrace and celebrate it. I realised it was his presence, love and support that mattered most to my growth and development as a young woman, not his job title.” Boipelo loves the outdoors and road trips far away from the city.
Adè van Heerden is a 25-year-old medical doctor and second lieutenant in the South African Military Health Services. She comes from Herold’s Bay in the Western Cape. She won Protea colours in rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 13 and was a gold medal winner at the All African Championships. As a junior doctor Adè doesn’t get much spare time, but when she does, she likes boxing and hiking as well as baking anything from extravagant cakes to brownies. Photo: Supplied
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from Sedgefield in the Western Cape is a 21-year-old final year B.Com business management and entrepreneurship student. She is also a part- time model at Boss Models and Vision Management. She was the first girl in her high school to be chosen as head girl of both the school and its hostel. Demi-Leigh was also elected as the Deputy Junior Mayor of the George City Council in grade 11. She makes handmade cards and does scrapbooking. She says her biggest motivator is her half-sister who was born without a cerebellum and is completely disabled.
Kayla Malherbe is a 21-year-old model from Mtunzini in Kwa Zulu Natal. For her, former Miss South Africa and Miss World Rolene Strauss is the epitome of beauty with a purpose. Kayla wants to be Miss South Africa in order to inspire the whole of South Africa to want to make a change for the better. She is passionate about children and often helps out at the small school in her home town.
Twenty-six-year-old Nicole van Niekerk from Môregloed in Pretoria is an events planner who specialises in children’s parties, a part time model and au-pair. She likes spending time with her family and her labrador Kaylee. Nicole says she takes inspiration from her mother who got a degree when she was in her 50s. Nicole – who recently took up ballet classes – admits to be terrified of heights. She is a vegetarian whose favourite meal is pasta mixed with an assortment of vegetables.
Nompumelelo Mampholo (20) from Diepkloof in Soweto is a shareholder in Conquerors, an event and management company. Growing up, Nompumelelo used to be a real tomboy. She loves spending time with family and friends, playing sport, going to the gym and reading inspirational books. Nompumelelo would use the Miss South Africa prize money to go back to school and complete her studies. Her father works in the field of arts, culture and heritage and her mother is a sergeant in the South Africa Police.
Twenty-three-year-old Odirile Sepeng from Mapobane in Pretoria is a BCom Law student at Varsity College. She loves drawing and painting and is interested in photography. Odirile always says that the best days are unplanned, random and spontaneous, so a hike with friends or a picnic at the park is always a good idea. She is also a Latin American and ballroom dancer. She currently focuses on her law books but when she needs a dose of inspiration she references one of her favourite books, The Secret by Rhonda Bryne.
Priyeshka Lutchman (24) from Yellowwood Park in Durban is a business management student and model. She likes spending her spare time with friends enjoying long lunches and board games. Other favourite pastimes are listening to music, going on picnics and traveling to beautiful and adventurous destinations. Priyeshka loves amusement parks and will always go on the scariest rides which give her an adrenaline rush. She has three brothers.
Shané Naidoo (24) of Benoni is an industrial engineering student at the University of the Witwatersrand who is set to graduate in 2016. She enjoys being outdoors and staying fit and active. Another favourite pastime is trying out new restaurants. Shané loves to bake and often spends Sunday afternoons trying out new healthy recipes to satisfy her sweet tooth. Shané – a Miss South Africa finalist in 2015 - boxes to keep fit and says she throws a mean right hook!
Shelbe Pretorius (23) from Krugersdorp is the owner of Flair promotional models. She enjoys having lunch dates with her friends on one of her rare days off. She is a committee member at House Jade (a haven for orphaned children); a volunteer youth worker at Christ Kids Trust and works at the West Rand School, a school for children with disabilities and special needs. Shelbe – who loves making people laugh – says her favourite meal is a good rump steak and vegetables!
Yuta Raubenheimer, from Kameeldrift near Pretoria, is a 25-year-old customer service supervisor for Gautrain. To be Miss South Africa has always been her dream for as long as she can remember. She loves dancing and used to do some contemporary ballet but now does sh’bam, zumba and advanced aerobics. She is also involved with Toastmasters, sings at her church’s worship team and takes part in a number of charity projects. Her first career choice was to join the South African Defence Force as an air force pilot, as serving South Africa has always been her heart’s desire.
For the first time in the pageants history, the public was allowed to vote for their favourite semi-finalist contestant.
The vote resulted in the Top 12 and a winner of the public vote, Pretoria’s Nicole van Niekerk.
- Adè van Heerden – Herold’s Bay, Western Cape
- Boipelo Mabe – Alexandra, Gauteng
- Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters – Sedgefield, Western Cape
- Iman Mkwanazi – Lenasia, Gauteng
- Kayla Malherbe – Mtunzini, Kwa Zulu Natal
- Nicole van Niekerk - Môregloed, Pretoria, Gauteng
- Nompumelelo Mampholo – Diepkloof, Soweto, Gauteng
- Odirile Sepeng – Mabopane, Pretoria, Gauteng
- Priyeshka Lutchman – Yellowwood Park, Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal
- Shané Naidoo – Benoni, Gauteng
- Shelbe Pretorius – Pinehaven, Krugersdorp, Gauteng
- Yuta Raubenheimer – Kameeldrift, Pretoria, Gauteng
Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, the current Miss South Africa will crown her successor on Sunday, March 26, in an event which will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.
The public will once again get the opportunity to vote for their favourites. The public’s SMS votes will have a 25 percent weighting of the overall voting towards the winner, with 75 percent resting with the official judges.
The second round of public voting opens on midnight on February 2.