Soweto lass Busisiwe Mmotla eyes Miss SA title

Former Miss Soweto Busisiwe Mmotla is one step closer to achieving her dream of becoming Miss SA.

The 27-year-old teacher and fitness enthusiast from Emndeni township was last night named as one of the 15 semifinalists vying for the 2020 Miss SA title.

Mmotla won Miss Soweto in 2017 and USN Face of Fitness last year.

"I feel very proud of myself as this is another step closer to the title of my dreams. It is so unbelievable at the same time. I pinch myself every morning," Mmotla said.

"The journey is eye-opening because the Miss SA Organisation and the judges asked me about my dreams, desires and thoughts. This was very new to me as no-one has really looked at me and asked me about my dreams or how I will achieve them," she said.

Mmotla is one of the six semifinalists from Gauteng to make it to the top 15. The others are Lebogang Mahlangu from Soshanguve, Anazarde Omar from Crown Gardens, Olin-Shae De La Cruz from Bryanston, Chantelle Pretorius from Pretoria and Natasha Joubert from Centurion.

Eastern Cape, that produced last year's winner and Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, is represented by two -Mthatha-born Aphelele Mbiyo and Melissa Nayimuli from Butterworth, who is entering the pageant for a third time.

Both women are 24.

"I entered in 2016 and 2018, and both times, I did not make it past the first judging round," Nayimuli said.

"Getting rejected was really disappointing, so coming back this year took a lot of courage. But I am so happy I took that brave step because here I am now, part of the top 15. This journey has been nothing short of amazing."

Free State, Limpopo and North West each have one semifinalist. They are Palesa Keswa, 23, from Sasolburg, Shudufhadzo Musida, 23, from Ha-Masia as well as 25-year-old medical doctor Thato Mosehle from Klerksdorp.

"I had already made my community proud by being part of the top 35, and now to be [in] top 15 is amazing! I'm here because it's simply my time," Mosehle said.

KZN semifinalists are Matsepo Sithole, 21, of Pietermaritzburg and Karishma Ramdev, 25, from Chatsworth and a medic at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.

Western Cape also has two entrants - international model Jordan van der Vyver, 24, from Greenpoint and actress Savannah Schutzler, 24, from Rondebosch.

The top 10 finalists will be decided by the public through a voting system that opens today and closes on July 16.

The 2020 Contestants:

  • Anazarde Omar (21) from Crown Gardens in Johannesburg has a BA Strategic Communication in Marketing from the University of Johannesburg.
  • Aphelele Mbiyo (24) was born in Mthata and raised in Port Elizabeth but currently lives in Lonehill, Johannesburg. She holds a BA in Integrated Marketing Communications.
  • Chantelle Pretorius (24) from Tshwane, Gauteng, is a full-time model and spends six to nine months a year working in Europe. She is also finishing her B.Com Business Management degree through Unisa and completed a diploma in nutrition at The Blackford Centre.
  • Jordan van der Vyver (24) comes from Greenpoint in Cape Town and is an international model who usually spends half the year working in the US.
  • Karishma Ramdev (25) comes from Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal but lives in Johannesburg where she is a qualified medical doctor working at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
  • Lebogang Mahlangu (24) from Soshanguve, Gauteng, is a food scientist working in research and development for a large multi-national.
  • Matsepo Sithole (21) is from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and is a full-time 4th year law student at the University of Pretoria.
  • Melissa Nayimuli (24) who is from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, now lives in Sunninghill, Joburg where she works as an account manager for a marketing agency. She has a BA in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA and majored in television writing.
  • Natasha Joubert (22), from Centurion, Tshwane, Gauteng is a Public Relations Officer at RFJ Inc. Attorneys and founder and owner of Natalia Jefferys (Pty) Ltd. She has a BCom Marketing Management Graduate from Boston City Campus.
  • Olin-Shae De La Cruz (26) comes from Bryanston, Gauteng and is in her final year of a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Media Operations Management at Boston Media House.
  • Palesa Keswa (23) is from Sasolburg in the Free State and has an undergraduate degree in economics and risk management. She is currently doing her honours in economics at the North West University.
  • Savannah Schutzler (24), from Rondebosch in the Western Cape, is an actress who graduated with a BA Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Stellenbosch University. She then went to AFDA and graduated with honours in live performance.
  • Shudufhadzo Musida (23) comes from Ha-Masia in Limpopo and has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently doing a BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.
  • Thato Mosehle (25) from Klerksdorp in the North West is a medical doctor currently completing her internship with the aim of becoming an anaesthesiologist.