Beauty queen lives her passions

BY LONDIWE DLOMO

The Top 20 Miss Soweto 2022 finalists were revealed in style in an intimate in-person media experience that was also streamed to audiences.

The event was hosted by media personality Bridget Masinga in partnership with Sowetan and the publication’s Women’s Club.

Celebrity home cook Themba Gwejela, who is known as Mr Gwe, was at hand to help the finalists hone their teamwork in a cooking demonstration.

The finalists worked in four groups of five, adding the finishing touches to a pap arancini dish and later made smoothies to show the variety and versatility of White Star products.

The Miss Soweto pageant is in its 43rd year and has been in partnership with White Star for 13 years.

“We’re not just a brand that’s coming in and leaving. We do believe in the young girls and the young ladies represented here. We also believe in community work and producing young people that are agents of positive change in their communities,” said Mbali Sibiya, brand manager at White Star.

According to Sibiya, this year more than 4,000 entries were received, the highest number since the brand started its partnership with the pageant.

When asked what the young pageant hopefuls could look forward to in the journey to the crown, Sibiya said: “It’s about enjoying yourself, being comfortable in your skin and just really going out there and doing the best to represent yourself because in the end you have to represent a brand such as White Star and Miss Soweto and you have to carry yourself in that way…”

This sentiment is echoed by reigning Miss Soweto Ludina Ngwenya.

She praised the team she works with and said that, as a finalist, you should just bring your authentic self to the pageant and all the various workshops that you’ll go through will hone your potential.

She said in the end should you win the title, the excellent team will work with you, and hold your hand throughout.

Ngwenya said winning the title has allowed her to do things she only expected to do later in her life.

Ngwenya’s passion is in early childhood development, and she’s an aspiring foundation phase teacher.

She experienced bullying when she was younger due to her burn scars that impacted on her confidence.

She said she had a full circle moment during her recent teaching practicals when she was able to comfort a child who was insecure about how he looked.

She also turned the incident into a teaching moment and spoke to the class about bullying and was able to also invite an anti-bullying organisation to the school.

Ngwenya has secured some sponsorship for schools in Soweto.

One of them was for a computer lab sponsored by Henley Technology for a school in Meadowlands Zone 4.

Another was a sponsored jungle gym for a primary school.

“I really do believe in play for children… being at school as a child is not only about being seated around the desk. There is so much kids can learn through play,” she said.

The Miss Soweto pageant will be held at the Soweto Theatre on November 26.

To watch the event, click here