Lalela Mswane was named Miss South Africa for 2021 during a glittering awards ceremony held at the Grand Arena, Grandwest in Cape Town on Saturday, 16 October.
Credit: Hanri Human
Twenty-four-year-old Mswane is a recently qualified attorney, and is the 63rd person to scoop the title of Miss SA. According to tradition, the crown was placed on her head by Shudufhadzo Musida, of Limpopo, who won the pageant in 2020. With the crown goes a package of prizes and sponsorships worth approximately R4m.
The new Miss SA, who scooped the crown from nine other hopefuls on stage at the arena, had her victory applauded by a limited live audience at the event, which was also streamed live and watched by thousands of South African TV viewers and an international audience.
Mswane's journey to the crown started about six ago, when she put her legal ambitions on hold to participate in the pageant. With only her articles to complete and already the holder of an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria, she entered the pageant believing that it offered opportunities for professional women.
In an earlier interview, she said, “now more than ever, the competition is about more than being just a beauty pageant. It is a platform for women. My competitors are phenomenal women from all walks of life who aspire to be heard. They are intelligent, worthy people who are gaining opportunities through their participation.
“The pageant is a potential launchpad for many things. You gain exposure, meet people you never would normally have met, and create networks that can result in opportunities that could otherwise never have arisen. The focus is on building women and taking their lives to new levels.”