Despite displaying the utmost grace during the lead up to her time in the competition and throughout her appearance in the live broadcast of the Miss South Africa finale, South African Twitter users have not afforded our new Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida the same grace.
Musida has suffered a fate similar to reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi now that all eyes are on her. Since being announced as a finalist, she has been subject to some of the most awful and callous comments.
From comparing her to a cancer survivor due to her chosen hairstyle to insinuating that she looks like actor Warren Masemola, various people often hiding behind anonymous and fake accounts have had a lot to say about Musida’s appearance.
Luckily for Musida, for every one person who couldn’t stand to see her win, 50 are excited to support her through her reign.
Musida – a Bachelor of Social Sciences graduate in philosophy, politics and economics from Ha-Masia in Limpopo – was crowned Miss South Africa 2020 at the glittering pageant finale at the Table Bay hotel in Cape Town this past weekend.
Because of her appearance she has been compared to former Miss SA, Zozi. However, during a press conference the day after she was crowned, Musida said that she didn’t feel pressure “following in the footsteps” of the reigning Miss Universe.
“When I first saw her, I saw my own face reflected. Before that, I didn’t realise that people who looked like me could compete and win on international stages. She opened the door for me and allowed me to take up my own space. I’m not worried about comparisons – they aren’t a bad thing at all. I’m awed to be following in her footsteps.”
In her Miss South Africa acceptance speech, Musida said: “It took an entire village to get me here and I would like to thank all of you for being my village. I stand here today as your Miss South Africa with immense pride and joy to be representing such a beautiful nation – one of the first Venda women, but certainly not the last – to become Miss South Africa. I stand here as an advocate for educational and economic empowerment of women and children and mental health awareness – honoured to be an ambassador of this beautiful nation.
“Through this platform, I plan to continue and build on the beautiful and powerful legacy left by former Miss South Africa titleholders and continue to carry the baton of woman empowerment that the Miss South Africa Organisation is built on and continues to strive for.
Musida has said she would like to bring more awareness of mental health, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas during her reign.
“I plan to mobilise various stakeholders and the nation so we can bring about educational empowerment through the tackling of issues such as period poverty among young girls, workshops that teach children about the importance of mental health from a young age and mentorship programmes for young women so they can be empowered to be agents of their own future.”