Two Eastern Cape semi-finalists in Miss SA
The next round of Miss South Africa contenders have been announced and two young women from the Eastern Cape have been placed among the top 15.
Aphelele Mbiyo, 24, and third-time entrant Melissa Mayimuli, 24, are the two hopefuls from the province vying for the coveted title.
Mbiyo, who was born in Mthatha and raised in Port Elizabeth, holds a BA in integrated marketing communications and is also a talented trombone player. She said she loved hosting dinner parties and bringing people together.
Mbiyo, who now lives in Lonehill, Johannesburg, said she felt incredibly honoured to be part of the top 15 contenders for the coveted Miss SA crown.
“I am grateful to have been selected from more than 2,000 entrants for the Top 35 and thrilled to make further progress.
“So far, the journey has been a range of mixed emotions — excitement, nervousness and anxiety — but I remain focused and I am ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and have an impact on society,” she said.
Mayimuli, who was born and bred in Butterworth but is now living in Johannesburg, said being rejected previously was disappointing and that her comeback this year took a lot of courage.
“I am so happy I took that brave step because here I am now, part of the Top 15. This journey has been nothing short of amazing,” she said.
Nayimuli works as an accounts manager for a marketing agency and holds a BA in motion picture medium, majoring in television writing.
The top 15 contestants represent seven provinces; six from Gauteng, two from the Eastern Cape, two from KwaZulu-Natal and two from the Western Cape. The Free State, Limpopo and North West each have one entrant.
Miss South Africa Organisation CEO Stephanie Weil said she was delighted with the calibre of entrants this year, and the judges had a tough job ahead of them.
“This Top 15 is an impressive group and I think South Africa is going to fall in love with them,” Weil said.
This year’s judges include broadcaster Anele Mdoda and former Miss SA title holders Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala, Liesl Laurie and Adè van Heerden.
Since the top 15 have been announced, the public have been invited to vote for their favourite semi-finalists and determine who moves forward to the next round as a top 10 finalist.
Voting has opened and will close on July 16 at 11pm.
Those who want to vote can go to the Miss SA website misssa.co.za.