Miss South Africa 2020, Shudufhadzo Musida, unfortunately did not make it to the Top 12 at the 70th Miss World pageant, which was held at the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico this morning.
Representing South Africa, twenty-six-year-old Musida – who comes from Ha-Masia in Venda in Limpopo – was one of the front runners throughout the competition. Her win in the prestigious Beauty With a Purpose (BWAP) segment of the pageant fast tracked her into the top 40 Miss World semi-finalists. Musida’s BWAP win was based on her advocacy campaign that focused on removing the stigma associated with mental illness. Miss World judges were impressed with the weekly IGTV Live sessions – Mindful Mondays – that she hosted with mental health experts.
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These shone a spotlight on “taboo” subjects like depression and suicide. Musida also wrote a children’s book, Shudu Finds Her Magic, which told the story of how she overcame bullying as a child. The glittering Miss World event was hosted by TV personality Peter Andre and one of Latin America’s top actors and singers, Fernando Allende. Said Musida after the pageant: “I am absolutely thrilled to have made it so far in the competition.
This truly is a dream come true and I am so very grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity. Congratulations to the newly crowned Miss World 2021 Karolina Bielawska and all the other contestants who made this journey so special. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity and to everyone who has supported and uplifted me.”
Both Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation, and Miss South Africa creative director, Werner Wessels, were in Puerto Rico to support Musida. Said Weil: “Although Shudu did not make it to the top 12, she definitely shined throughout the competition and has made all of us South Africans very proud!”
On the finalé stage, Shudu was stunning in the magnificent evening gown designed for her by Cape Town designer, Warrick Gautier. One of the leading influences in the fashion world who travels regularly between Cape Town, London and Paris, Gautier is inspired by art, music, architecture and his
French heritage. He said: “Shudu’s shimmering blush golden gown was inspired by Shudu’s own unique beauty that radiates from within like an African sunrise at the start of a fresh magical day. It’s a strong, modern, powerful and glamorously feminine gown – just like Shudu.”