Countdown to the Miss SA pageant
THOUSANDS of hopefuls have entered this year's Miss South Africa pageant in the hope of being named the fairest of them all.
The last round of regional finals, for Gauteng, were held at Carnival City on Saturday.
Principal judge and former Miss South Africa Sonia Raciti-Oshry said they were looking for a girl with both the social and cultural characteristics to become Miss South Africa.
"We want someone natural, not too rehearsed and someone who can compete internationally," she said.
One of the participants who hopes to walk away with the title is 22-year-old Lebogang Monggae. She is the current Miss Soweto.
The long-legged beauty said she felt no pressure to live up to the reputation of Miss Soweto that was cultivated by the likes of Basetsana Kumalo and Augustine Masilela.
"I was able to deal with the media, the public and organisations," she said.
She said she would work on changing the mindset of the youth on what they can achieve should she win the pageant.
Another hopeful was Simone de Kock, a 21-year-old model, who is struggling with family problems.
"My mother was supposed to have a by-pass surgery but her gall bladder burst so she had to have that emergency surgery on Friday," De Kock said.
She flew in from a modelling assignment in Denmark to attend the regional finals.
Current Miss South Africa Melinda Bam was on hand to give the entrants some advice.
"I would advise them to be themselves. It is a cliché but it's true. Miss South Africa should be someone dynamic and agile who can adapt to any situation," Bam said.
Cameras were on hand to film the reality show The Road to Miss SA.
Raciti-Oshry said the reality show, which will be screened from November 4, helps to modernise the pageant as well as show hopefuls what the process entails and how prepared they should be before entering.
After the regional finals, the group will be whittled down to between 24 and 35 women who will then attend a week of workshops at Sun City.
The top 12 finalists will then be chosen to vie for the Miss SA crown on December 9.