There was no 'Miss SA privilege': Pageant clears the air on Shudufhadzo Musida's graduation

Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida obtained her honours degree in International Relations from Wits.
Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida obtained her honours degree in International Relations from Wits.
Image: Miss SA

The Miss SA organisation has told TimesLIVE there was no preferential treatment of Shudufhadzo Musida during her Wits University graduation on Tuesday.

A video of Musida walking across the stage at the university in the presence of vice-chancellor Zeblon Vilakazi triggered questions and criticism of the beauty queen on social media.

However, Miss SA said Musida attended the ceremony virtually, along with other graduates.

Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida took part online, from her apartment in Sandton, in the University of Witwatersrand’s virtual ceremony, along with all students who were graduating.

"She was later invited by vice-chancellor Prof Zeblon Vilakazi to a meeting to discuss the mental health initiatives she has taken part in during her reign,” said the organisation. 

Musida partnered with the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) to host weekly series #Mindful Mondays to raise awareness on and educate about mental wellness. 

Musida obtained her honours degree in international relations.

She said her late grandmother always motivated her to study and pursue a better life for herself.

Growing up in Ha-Masia, deep in the heart of Vhembe district in Limpopo, my Gugu always stressed that education was a fundamental stepping stone to success. How proud she would have been of me, her little Abi (I was known as Abigail as a child) who has earned this university degree,” she said.

Musida also motivated students who are pursuing their studies to work hard. 

“Dreams are valid. I never thought I’d be sitting here, but today I am sitting here. To every single graduate and student who feels like this is tough, you are going to make it. You’re going to succeed. You’re going to graduate. It may not seem easy, but everything is possible if you put your mind to it and you work hard.”