It was something like a fairytale on Wednesday afternoon as Miss South Africa 2020 Shudufhadzo Abigail Musida landed in Polokwane for the first time since winning the crown…
Happy days have been few and far between in 2020, but one person who has managed to put smiles on the faces of thousands (if not millions) of South Africans is our new Miss SA, Shudufhadzo Musida. The 24-year-old sparked celebrations on Thursday as she returned to Limpopo for the beginning of her homecoming tour and the streets were filled with hundreds of happy onlookers who took a moment out of their day to celebrate one of their own.
Shudufhadzo comes home
It must feel surreal to have left her province as just another proud Limpopian (an affectionate word used on social media to describe those who hail from the northernmost province in the country) and to return as a real life superheroine. That’s exactly what Shudufhadzo felt on Thursday as she touched down in Polokwane, the provincial capital, before beginning her trip to her home village of Ha-Masia.
Homecoming day 1. pic.twitter.com/r9TnU2ty8P
— Shudufhadzo (@abigailmusida) November 12, 2020
The newly-crowned and proudly Venda Miss South Africa could barely contain her emotions as her arrival was greeted with a massive street parade as people of all ages flocked to the streets to lay eyes on their new crown jewel. Shudufhadzo was officially welcomed by Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha as well as a number of public officials including local MECs, the Polokwane Mayor and the Vhembe District Municipality Mayor.
Miss South Africa’s official Instagram page hailed the pageant queen by writing, “She is not only South Africa’s Queen, but Limpopo’s pride and joy!”
Miss SA urges more mental health focus in Limpopo
While the celebrations were jubilant, Shudufhadzo did not take her eye off the prize. Once the fanfare had died down, she took a more serious tone when it came to addressing mental health issues in her province. She specifically challenged the stigmas that people with mental health challenges face in rural areas of Limpopo.
In a dialogue with Limpopo premier at the Meropa Casino and Entertainment World in Polokwane, Shudufhadzo said, “In rural areas people are still afraid to talk about mental health and it is still regarded as a shame to have someone suffering from such [in the family].”.
She continued, “We need to have a serious conversation about this and bring about change. And I believe as social partners, if we can speak out about mental health challenges we will bring change to society.”
Beyond mental health she also urged stakeholders to continue empowering the girl child. Girls face more barriers than boy children when it comes to attending and staying in school, and Shudufhadzo emphasised the need to dismantle and address the structures that are hindering the girl child from obtaining equal education and equal opportunities.
What’s next for Miss SA?
Shudufhadzo’s homecoming tour continues over the next few days and she expressed her excitement at getting to see her grandfather as well as several members of her family for the first time since her big win in Cape Town at the end of October.
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Shudufhadzo Musida is now an honours graduate…