Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, Miss South Africa 2016, returned to her hometown on Saturday, 16 April, and received a hero’s welcome.
This was the first time that she returned home since her crowning. A whole procession of official vehicles, resident supporters and admirers accompanied her as she paraded through Mkhondo’s streets, starting at the Piet Retief Primary School and ending at the Mandla Magadulela Stadium in Ethandukhukanya. It seems a pity, though, that her home visit was not advertised a little better. Nthandoyenkosi says, “My homecoming was amazing and my community came out in their numbers.
I’m so glad to know that by me being crowned Miss South Africa, I have inspired so many young people to go out and make their dreams a reality. It was a humbling moment and I am truly grateful to each and every person who turned up.” The whole parade and event at the stadium, including Ms Kunene’s talking to the community, was filmed by the SABC team. Ntandoyenkosi Kunene celebrated her 24th birthday on 18 March, one day short of a month after her being crowned Miss South Africa 2016. She says that birthdays are a significant part of one’s growth process and go a long way toward building one’s self.
This year she decided to spend her special day with seven-year-old Monica Yende from Tsakane, who has a life-threatening brain tumour. Monica is a Reach For A Dream Foundation #DreamKid. As it has always been Monica’s dream to have a Princess Sofia dress and accessories and to attend a hiphop dance lesson, this is what she got. The pair had lunch before heading off to Five- 6seven8 Dance Studio for #HipHop lessons. Nthando- yenkosi found it wonderfully fulfillinng to be able to give and make someone else happy – a day well spent! All of us in Mkhondo are extremely proud of you, Nthandoyenkosi! May we soon see you home again.