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News in brief - Date: 18 June 2020
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Shudufhadzo Musida (23) from Ha-Masia is one of the Top-35 finalists for Miss South Africa.
She has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Pretoria and is at present working towards an honours degree in international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand.
She said that she was passionate about the economic and educational empowerment of women and children. “This passion is deeply rooted in the fact that I grew up in a village where people have five career choices - doctor, nurse, police officer, teacher or working in a store. There is nothing wrong with these careers, but there is such a wider range to choose from. I believe that this platform could highlight this fact through its vision of female empowerment and breaking boundaries.”
She said that during the current lockdown she had taken time to prioritise her mental health and herself. “It’s been difficult, but you learn to be kind to yourself. Remember that these are unusual circumstances and it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. I have been blessed to find peace in this tough time.”
She added that the lockdown had taught her that she did not need victories. “Small victories, such as taking an hour out to meditate or complete a task, are enough.”
She also mentioned that people got to appreciate human interaction and what the beauty of being outside meant. “Now we appreciate the beauty of nature and of our loved ones. This has been a return to self.”
She said that she loved the cultures, the food, and the people of South Africa. “Also, our ability to love and find joy in the darkest of times.”
On the question what she would like to change about South Africa, she stated that she would love to change the stigma regarding mental health and the disregard towards gender-based violence. She added that reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi had inspired her to enter “because of her grace and her ability to make a statement without straining her voice”.
She described Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Toni Morrison, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Amina J Mohammed as her role models as they are such strong women with so much grace. “They inspire me to be better versions of myself.”
As studying consumes most of her time, she does not have much time for hobbies, but when she can, she sings, practices the keyboard, and reads.
She believes that beauty pageants will always be relevant, “because they are embedded in our society. They also evolve with the times, so it’s no longer just a showcase of a woman’s beauty but the beauty of her mind too and how she can be of service to others beyond herself.”
Shudufhadzo Musida (23) from Ha-Masia. Photo supplied.