Today, Miss South Africa made an announcement that Miss South Africa 2022 Runner-Up Ayanda Thabethe will represent the rainbow nation of South Africa at the Miss Supranational competition, which will be taking place on the 14th of July in Poland. Ayanda was born on November 11, 1999 and is from Taylor’s Halt in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal. She started her education at all girls’ Longmarket Primary School where she learned about sisterhood and found her footing in crafting her narrative. The tradition continued as she entered Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School where she ended her journey as a prefect, vice-house captain, head computer monitor, and captain of the school’s athletic team.
The 22-year-old was in her final year of her BSc in Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the University of KwaZulu Natal when she entered the pageant: “I want to branch into the research sector so I can play a role in developing nutrition-related guidelines to combat South Africa’s double burden of malnutrition and obesity,” she says. Ayanda is close to her small, tight-knit family – her biggest supporters are her mother and father Florence and Clement, and her brother Andile.“My family is the first person who played a role in shaping my mind and their importance in my life cannot be emphasized enough. With them beside me, I know that everything will be okay and I know that I have a purpose.”
Ayanda is passionate about South Africa’s healthcare system, specifically in the nutrition-related sectors, and will be devoting herself to this during her year as runner-up. “I am lucky enough to be on a platform that allows me to provide community education on the importance of a healthy life through a healthy diet. I have also recently started a campaign called #nyakazani which aims to get community members involved in responding to crises.” She explains why she entered Miss South Africa: “I have always pictured myself as a role model for young women. Growing up I read about female trailblazers and always thought of myself as one too. I entered the competition because I am a driven woman who wants to make changes for the better of our country.”
Ayanda lists her role models as the bold women who came before her, women who made something of themselves and were selfless enough to pave a path for other women in their respective fields. These women include her grandmother (whom she refers to as a warrior), Naomi Campbell (who inspired Ayanda to want a career in the modeling industry), and Maya Angelou (who sparked her love of literature).
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