My name is Shudufhadzo Musida and I am your Miss South Africa 2020. After repeating this phrase more than a 1000 times, it now feels so surreal.
First and foremost, I would like to give thanks to my heavenly Father, God Almighty. Waking up each day and knowing that you were always by my side is enough for me. I stand here now because of all those that came before me. My ancestors who continue to watch over me each day.
I would also like to thank my late grandmother Vho-Marandela for her constant support and prayers while growing up. To my number one cheerleader – my mother Thandi – thank you for being the source of my strength. Your love has moulded me into the woman that I am today. To my aunt Cecelia thank you for teaching me the importance of respect, kindness and hard work.
I would like thank my whole family for always supporting me even when my dreams seemed scary. To my fellow contestants, although this was a competition, the friendships created will last a long time and I will be eternally grateful for having met you. To the Miss South Africa Organisation, what you have pulled off – more especially during Covid-19 – is nothing more than spectacular and truly amazing. Thank you.
It took an entire village to get me here and I would like to thank all of you for being my village. I stand here today as your Miss South Africa with immense pride and joy to be representing such a beautiful nation – one of the first Venda women, but certainly not the last – to become Miss South Africa. I stand here as an advocate for educational and economic empowerment of women and children and mental health awareness – honoured to be an ambassador of this beautiful nation.
I would like to extend a big thank you to the Miss South Africa Organisation and all the amazing sponsors who have made this possible. Through this platform, I plan to continue and build on the beautiful and powerful legacy left by former Miss South Africa title holders, and continue to carry the baton of woman empowerment that this organisation is built on and continues to strive for.
I plan to bring more awareness to mental health, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas, because I truly believe that we need to work on the mind for any change to come about in this country. I plan to mobilise various stakeholders and the nation so we can bring about educational empowerment through the tackling of issues such as period poverty among young girls, workshops that teach kids about the importance of mental health from a young age, and mentorships programs for young women so they can be empowered to be agents of their own future.
I will continue the fight against food insecurity in rural communities because children can only be their best at school when their basic needs are met. I believe that all of this will continue the efforts of bringing about economic empowerment in this country as more children will be given a fair chance at becoming active members of the economy through educational empowerment.
This journey has been one of the highlights of my life – one that I will never forget and will cherish for as long as I live. Before this competition started, I had dreamed of helping women and children and this platform has made that a reality even before the crown was placed on my head. This platform has not only empowered me, but it has caused a ripple effect that has empowered others too. It has empowered a nation of girls just like me, and shows that all dreams are valid irrespective of your background. So to the Miss South Africa Organisation – thank you for showing me – and the nation – the power and the importance of opportunities, mentorships and leadership for women. My life has been changed forever and the lives of the generations that come after me, so for that – Ndo livhuwa.