Teacher Busisiwe Mmotla crowned Miss Soweto

Teacher Busisiwe Mmotla was crowned Miss Soweto on Saturday night at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani.

Mmotla, from Emndeni in Soweto, snatched the title from crowd-pleaser Musawenkosi Makhalemele, 22, of Naledi, who became first princess. Diepkloof-born Phumzile Nyembe was second princess.

A panel of judges that included actress Lucia Mthiyane, Mapaseka Koetle, Grace Mantjiu and Zinhle Mthembu named Mmotla the 38th queen of Soweto.

Elated Mmotla, who teaches at a private school in Bramley, entered the pageant for the third time at the age of 24, believes her experience came in handy.

"I am happy. There is not even a single word [that] can express how I feel right now," she said.

"This time I told myself that I am just going to be myself. I knew that I had to light the stage with my smile. Judges must have loved my personality, and also realised that I am passionate to inspire my community."

Mmotla said she did not expect to win because all the girls brought their A-game.

She wants to use her crown to inspire young girls and show them that nothing is impossible.

She said entering Miss Soweto has improved her self-esteem.

"Being Miss Soweto means that someone has realised that I have a potential to do great things. It means I have the ability to motivate young people.

"I want to encourage them not to allow their background to determine their future. Opportunities are there, you just need to grab them and run."

Mmotla and the second princess Nyembe were three of the oldest contestants in the line-up, at the age of 24.

Her mother Florina expressed excitement about the success of her eighth child.

Florina was a model herself, showcasing clothes for fashion catalogues like Mahomedys and Ebony.

The event was well-attended, with the 400-seater theatre packed and some people had to be turned away.

Generations: The Legacy star Vusi Kunene was the MC for the night.

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