After enduring bullying in school for being Venda, reigning queen, Miss SA 2020 Shudufhadzo Musida said she was honoured to represent Limpopo.
On Saturday October 24, 2020 Shudufhadzo Musida changed the face of the game when she was announced Miss SA 2020 at the 62nd edition of the event held at the palatial Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. She was the only contestant from Venda, Limpopo in the competition and confessed that she received overwhelming support from people all over the country throughout the competition. Indeed, Shudufhadzo won over South Africa’s hearts long before she was crowned Miss SA 2020 as she was already the winner of the highest public vote for the top 10 finalists.
The 24 year old from Ha- Masia, Makhado in the Vhembe District in Limpopo said on the Afternoon Express show that she endured bullying for being Venda for seven years in school after moving to a different area when she was nine years old. “I was bullied because I was Venda, and I eventually got to a point where I didn’t want to fit into a mould where people think it is okay to look down on people based on where they come from,” said Shudufhadzo.
To this day, Shudufhadzo is firm in her cultural values and carries her Venda roots with her wherever she goes as she proudly shares her favourite traditional Venda dish which she says is a definite must try.
“My favourite (traditional Venda dish) is the Muroho-Wa-Thanga, which is pumpkin leaves which we boil in stock and then flash fry with sauteed chopped onion and serve with crushed peanuts. I love it and it always brings back happy memories of my childhood, my family and good times,” Shudufhadzo told Timeslive.
During her reign as Miss SA 2020 Shudufhadzo said she will be advocating for mental health. “I’m very passionate about mental health. I’m also passionate about economic and educational empowerment, but I have realised that we cannot tackle educational and economic empowerment without tackling the mind first. Once we tackle the mind, we tackle the powerhouse, it is the very thing that helps us move forward. Right now mental health is a concept that is regarded as a taboo, one that is often engaged with, not to rehabilitate, but often to shame,” said Shudufhadzo.
Shudufhadzo has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently studying towards her BA, Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.
The fashion model since 17, said the Miss SA 2020 pageant was the first pageant she had ever entered. As a fashion model Shudufadzo has shot for various brands and campaigns, including retailer Woolworths and skincare range Eucerin. She was even featured in Vogue Italia back in 2018. Shudufhadzo said although her modelling career propelled her to where she is today, ultimately it was current Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi who served as the biggest inspiration behind her entering the competition.
“When I think about Zozi I think about how she opened the door and I just simply walked through it. When she said see your face in mine I saw my face, and that’s the reason why I entered. I don’t feel intimidated at all by having to step into her shoes, I feel inspired to do better. And to actually carry on where she left off,” said Shudufhadzo.
As Miss SA 2020, Shudufhadzo will receive R1 million in cash as well as a further R2 million worth of sponsorship and prizes, including the use of a luxury Sandton apartment and a Mercedes-Benz cabriolet for a year.
Omega Ngema, Journalist and Marketing Partner.