Miss SA urges Mathabatha to speak out about mental health challenges

Shudufhadzo Musida Miss SA 2020
Shudufhadzo Musida Miss SA 2020
Image: Ashley Marie Photography

Newly crowned Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida, 26, has urged Limpopo premier Chupu Mathabatha and his executive to use their influence to speak out about mental health challenges, particularly in rural areas. 

Speaking at the homecoming event at Meropa Casino and Entertainment in Polokwane on Friday, Musida added that people who suffer from mental health were still ill-treated and called "mad people". 

"In rural areas people are still afraid to talk about mental health and it is still regarded as a shame to have someone suffering from such [in the family]." she said. 

"We need to have a serious conversation about this and bring about change. And I believe as social partners, if we can speak out about mental health challenges we will bring change to society."

Musida also requested the government to empower girl children and open doors for them. "I know it is difficult sometimes to be a rural girl because I also used to watch TV and see Miss SA [pageants] without any hope [that one day I will be one]. I was born and raised in a rural village and I never thought I will carry the crown on my head one day because we have so many challenges [in rural areas]," she said. 

Musida said she will be seeing her grandfather and other members of her family for the first time this weekend since she was crowned Miss SA a few weeks ago. 

Mathabatha described Musida as a mirror for young rural girls. "I never thought that one day I will sit on the same table with a Miss SA. We are very proud of you and we are here to celebrate this star which shone better than others," he said

Musida will be parading in the streets of Polokwane.

The homecoming was attended by several dignitaries including MEC for sports, arts and culture Thandi Moraka, MEC for public works and infrastructure Dickson Masemola, Capricorn District executive mayor John Mpe and Polokwane mayor Thembi Nkadimeng. 

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