Every year the Miss Soweto competition always delivers on the glamour, excitement and competitive spirit that we as viewers love and enjoy. From the beautiful dresses to the inspiring words of the contestants, Miss Soweto truly embodies an iconic quality that makes us look forward to it every year. 2019 is no different, except for the fact that this year the pageant will be celebrating its 40th anniversary together with its sponsor, White Star which is celebrating its 20th birthday.
As a build up to finding the next Miss Soweto, we caught up with model and media personality, K Naomi who is one of the judges for the competition. We also caught up with Miss Soweto 2018, Nokukhanya Kunene in a Q&A interview detailed below:
How do you feel being a part of such an amazing event?
“I am excited and I am honoured to have been chosen as one of the judges. I have a very strong connection to Soweto cause my family is from there. Mostly I’m really excited to celebrate 40 years of Miss Soweto and be part of crowing the next amazing lady to carry this title.”
What do pageants mean to you? What are they all about?
“WOW! Pageants are a really great way to sift through and see the amazing beauty and strength of women in our country and communities. Despite what people may think about them and the women that enter them, they are a platform for empowerment and encouraging confidence. What isn’t there to love about seeing beautiful and smart women display that they are more and have more to offer.”
What qualities do you look for in a Miss Soweto?
“I’m looking for a confident girl. Something with that IT factor, someone who can be influential. Someone who wants to put the work in for the betterment of Soweto and the community she serves.”
What is womanhood all about?
“It’s about authenticity. Owning, knowing and loving who you really are. It’s really difficult for women in our society as we change and redefine the stereotype and breakthrough the many boundaries in our way. We seem more and more of ourselves, our moms and the women we could be if we embraced our imperfections and strengths.”
How do you think the Miss Soweto pageant celebrates womanhood?
“The title sponsor, WHITE STAR really goes the mile to empower the girls and that’s really important for me. Just being able to take something positive out of an experience like this is Miss Soweto celebrating women.”
What are you looking for in this year’s Miss Soweto? What qualities are most important?
“Authenticity for me is always the best quality any pageant queen can possess. It allows you to be relatable but also stand out, you do things out of pleasure and not pressure. And because you are being true to yourself, inevitably you get to enjoy what it means to carry the title. So as much as you want to influence change in your community, it defeats the purpose if you are not in touch with your genuineness. So I tend to not have expectations and allow myself to be inspired by what contestants bring to the table.”
What does the celebration of womanhood mean to you?
“Celebrating womanhood is about letting women define for themselves what it means to be one. Not policing their choices to fit in anyone’s box and basically saying, “hey, it’s about damn time your greatness is recognized AGAIN!”
Reminiscing on your time as a contestant in the competition, what advice do you have for all young women who aspire to be Miss Soweto one day?
“Don’t fall for the trap of thinking you can only be crowned Miss Soweto if you live up to certain standards. As much as there are requirements that you need to adhere to, don’t change yourself but work around them so that they are in alignment with your aspirations. Be sure that this dream is in your own vision and not someone else’s dream for you. Everything starts with self, be your biggest supporter, your own critic and most importantly rise in love with your journey. There’s no use chasing a dream if you don’t enjoy the path to getting there. Lastly, every accomplishment starts with the decision to try so don’t just end by aspiring but work towards it.”
The competition will be held at the Soweto Theatre on 30 November and will be broadcast on Soweto TV on 7 December 2019 at 20:00pm.