Nthandoyenkosi Kunene is reaching for her dream and is one of 25 South African girls who have made it through to the next round being a semi-finalist for the 2016 Miss South Africa Competition.
Nthandoyenkosi is a local girl who attended both Piet Retief Primary and Piet Retief High School. She comes from a very supportive family who shares in one another’s joys and they are driven by the fact that one person’s success is everyone’s success, being it a family member who gets a new job, a little sister who makes the netball team or her being a potential Miss South Africa.
She has four sisters and one brother and parents who are extremely proud of her. They are as excited as she is and motivate her constantly. Since her first title, Miss Rainbow Festival, at the age of six, this journey has been a journey that not only Nthandoyenkosi, but her whole family is walking. When she was five years old she witnessed the crowning of Kerishnie Naicker as Miss South Africa (1997) and the seed was planted! She has been following the competition and its various winners since then. These were women who have made a positive impact on the lives of South Africans, something that she strives to (and would love to) do.
To qualify for entering for the pageant, aspirant Miss South Africa contenders have to be between the ages of 18-27, have a matric certificate, be unmarried, have no children and no criminal record. Entries are done online and then several nationwide casting calls follow at Sun International Hotels in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg. Thus the search is narrowed down to 25 finalists and will be narrowed down to only twelve finalists on 15 November. The winner will be crowned in March 2016. Coming this far is already a great achievement for Nthandoyenkosi, knowing that she was chosen as one of 25 girls only, countrywide. She says that she has learnt so much during their workshops at their “camp” at the Maslow Hotel (Johannesburg). Should she be a finalist she would be nearer her dream but also be able to use this as a springboard for her to accomplish her goals in life (in alignment with those of the sponsors – Sun International and Cell C) to give back and be a role model to the youth.
Nthandoyenkosi was a miss Earth South Africa finalist (2012) and was crowned as Miss Mamelodi Sundowns Gauteng (2012) and Miss Mpumalanga (2013). She was also a semi-finalist for the Miss South Afica pageant in 2014. Her new journey can be followed on FB, twitter and instagram. Currently Nthandoyenkosi, a qualified primary school teacher, is doing her honours in Curriculum Issues at the University of the Witwatersrand. She lives by the quote: “Never give in, tomorrow could be the day that brings just what you need to turn your life around.” She would like to express her heartfelt gratitude to the people of Mkhondo who have supported her along the way, be it through personal interaction or social media. “Ngiyabonga Kakhulu! May the support not end with me, but continue to those who are raising the Mkhondo Flag high.” Good luck for the next round on 15 November, Nthando. Mkhondo is proud of you and we support you all the way!