On Saturday 30 November 2019, Musawenkosi Gumede was crowned Miss Soweto 2019, ahead of 19 other finalists at the Soweto Theatre. The annual beauty pageant, proudly sponsored by White Star Super Maize Meal, was an elegant night of glamour and entertainment with international house music legend, Harrison Crump and Idols finalist Thando Mngomezulu serenading the audience.
In an exclusive interview with Blazon, Musa reveals her preparations towards the Miss Soweto crowing, “I had taken the time to thoroughly prepare myself for nothing else but victory. I went in with a clear strategy and be an ambassador the Miss Soweto and White Star brands embody. I researched, I went to the gym almost 4 times a week, kept my head space in a positive cloud so nothing could deter my focus. So when I was announced as the winner, it was such a relief that all my hard work had finally paid off. I was elated”
The 24 year old activist and science student was born and raised in Naledi Soweto in the South of Johannesburg. I am passionate about philanthropy and education. She is an entrepreneur and runs two businesses: Gumede Consulting, a social media management agency Makeup By Us, a beauty and makeup outfit, as the name suggests. The young lady who is passionate about philanthropy and education began her modelling journey in 2014 during her varsity days, when she competed and won the Miss South Point title.
“The most memorable lesson was self confidence even when the world or circumstances didn’t allow me to be confident. Effective communication, knowing when to listen, knowing when to talk back and knowing when it’s actually time to just comprehend and absorb”. Musa shares as she looks back on the journey to becoming Miss Soweto 2019.
It was in the end a beautiful night, Musawenkosi who took centre stage, flanked by Thato Kubheka and Fhulufhelo Bilankulu, as her first and second princesses, respectively.
Miss Soweto’s Top 20 finalists were judged by actress and TV producer, Nolo Phiri, Grace Mantjiu of Bona Magazine and Zazinhle Mthembu. On asked what they were looking for, for the next Miss Soweto, Grace Matjiu mentioned that she wanted a lady who was beautiful inside and out. “I am looking for a woman who is strong enough to breakdown those barriers and do the good that is needed in Soweto”, she said.
The new Miss Soweto says “I had been so anxious backstage prior to the top 5 announcements. Being a perfectionist isn’t always a blessing, I was worried if my technique was on point, worried if my walk was graceful and if I smiled enough. Small voices in my head kept saying hey you might not make it. And I would rebuke them every other second.
“I do remember that I was relieved when I wasn’t called as a runner up… but I immediately was nervous about not being called ever. It was such a nerve – wrecking process.”
The event was co-hosted by Nthabiseng Kgasi, and Refiloe Motsei, both of whom have previously worn crowns at the beauty pageant. The duo did an excellent job in directing the affairs of the night and kept the audience captivated.
“Miss Soweto gives you a platform to initiate change and bring a vision to life and I can’t wait to begin this journey of change and development,” Musa Gumede continues. “I look forward to intertwining my projects with the title. I have been very vocal and active around Gender Based Violence outreaches including the literacy project I started and now I get to extend all these into my role as Miss Soweto.
“I am excited moreover to meet the Former Miss Soweto Queens and pick from their brains. I was recently added to the former Miss Soweto Whatsapp group and I was literally in tears. It is the small things that bring joy and meaning in our lives.”
Speaking on future pageant plans, she explains, “Miss South Africa is definitely on the cards for me. It’s a historical pride that a Miss Soweto will go on to compete in the national competition as prestigious as Miss SA. I can’t wait to represent my community and hopefully bring it home.”
Musa Gumede received a prize valued at more than R160 000 with White Star sponsoring the grand prize of a whopping R100 000 in cash. The 1st Princess took home more than R40 000 in prizes and cash, the 2nd Princess’ prizes are worth just under R20 000.
Musa who has been working at the Saint Restaurant hopes to continue there as combines this new role as beauty queen with her businesses and projects.