Miss South Africa 2023 Top 12: (Back) Bryoni, Anke, Ane, Jordan, Nande and Levern. (Front) Kea, Lebohang, Lungo, Homba, Natasha and Melissa.
Anke Rothmann (23) is a pharmacist intern representing the Northern Cape. She obtained her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the North West University in Potchefstroom.
“When it was announced that I was part of the top 12 for Miss South Africa 2023, it was the biggest moment of disbelief I have ever experienced. I will never get used to this constant feeling of gratitude in my heart. The fact that this journey has given me a chance to get to know women with such beautiful characters will always be remembered.”
Bryoni Govender (26) is from Kempton Park in Gauteng and is a qualified lawyer working as a trainee associate while awaiting admission to become an attorney.
“When I was told that I made the top 12, I felt relieved because I worked extremely hard to make sure I was prepared for the judging. I am excited and determined to continue with my Miss South Africa journey because I have found confidence in my authentic self, and now, more than ever, I am ready to become an ambassador for South Africa. Making the top 12 is just one step closer to reaching my goal.”
Homba Mazaleni (23), from Gonubie, East London, in the Eastern Cape, is a qualified sports scientist and student intern at the University of the Western Cape.
“To being the square peg in the round hole! I am overwhelmed with joy and pure gratitude. Growing up, I’d always wonder how it would feel to walk through the doors of the Miss South Africa family, and now I can proudly say to that younger version of myself that I have a place and proudly belong to this ground-breaking family. None of this would be possible without the incredible support I have received from my family, friends and loved ones. Your belief in me and your unwavering support has been my driving force. I am deeply grateful for each and every one of you. The journey ahead promises to be an incredible adventure full of personal growth, empowerment and leadership development. I am ready to embrace every moment, to truly learn, to grow, and to use my voice to help actively transform the landscape of what we have deemed to be equal accessibility to health and wellness. What an amazing feeling knowing you are destined to break boundaries.”
Jordan van der Vyver (27), from Durbanville, Western Cape, is a model and businesswoman who recently embarked on an entrepreneurial journey as the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of a pioneering online platform.
“As the first married contestant, I am immensely grateful and overwhelmed with excitement for making it into the top 12. Being here is ground-breaking and a huge honour. I am thrilled to represent women who were once excluded from pursuing and realising their dreams due to societal norms. The Miss South Africa platform stands as a trailblazer in the pageant industry, and the opportunity to be a part of this process again is truly invaluable. It ignites a renewed sense of purpose and fuels my determination to make a meaningful impact.”
Jordan van der Vyver
Keaoleboga Nkashe (27), from Itsoseng in the North West, is an educator, student and model. She describes herself as a lifelong learner with a great sense of humour that connects people.
“Coming back to do Miss South Africa was way harder than it was the first time. This time around, I truly wanted the judges to see that alongside this fun, courageous and humorous person, there’s a woman who is extremely smart, focused and who refuses to give up until her purpose is realised. Miss South Africa is a destiny thing, and being given the opportunity to walk the stage once again is a testament on its own to how life-changing and incredible this organisation is. I am more than excited to be a part of the top 12 and work alongside building and fostering new relationships, and I cannot wait to share my heart with the rest of South Africa and truly show how capable I am for this role.”
Lebohang Raputsoe (24) is from Sharpeville, Vereeniging, in Gauteng, and is an HR practitioner. She is registered as an HR professional with SABPP and holds a Master’s in Human Resources Management and degrees in industrial psychology and labour relations management.
“I can almost feel the excitement all over again when we were told we had made it into the top 12. The feeling of being chosen among a group of incredible women testifies to the reality that dreams do come true. The journey so far has stretched my potential, and the sisterhood is a bond that keeps deepening. I am truly grateful to be part of the top 12.”
Levern ‘Donnatella’ José (23), from Kimberley in the Northern Cape, is a candidate property practitioner, a BCom law student at Eduvos Pretoria and an entrepreneur.
“My journey was not easy, which makes it so worth it. I was overwhelmed by a wave of emotions when I found out I made it to the top 12. I am extremely proud of myself for being vulnerable and honest in my interview. The Miss South Africa Organisation has amazed me so much with the support offered and simply creating a safe and comfortable space for me to be my authentic self.”
Levern ‘Donnatella’ José
Lungo Katete (26) from Midrand in Johannesburg, Gauteng, is a creative at heart with a flair for all things design. This led her to achieve her Bachelors, Honours and Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand.
“Ever since I was a little girl, entering Miss South Africa has been my ultimate dream. When I was told I had been selected to be a part of the top 12, I couldn’t contain my emotions and burst into tears. In that moment, I realised that the little girl who had spent her entire life yearning to be among the Miss South Africa top 12 and wear the crown was now living in that very reality. The word ‘ecstatic’ falls short of capturing my overwhelming happiness because, at this moment, I am truly living in the dream I have always longed for.”
Melissa Nayimuli (27) from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape was born in a multi-cultural home to a Xhosa mother and Ugandan father. She is a passionate storyteller and works as a television and film creative producer in Johannesburg.
“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has happened again for me. To say I am grateful for being selected as a top 12 finalist for Miss South Africa 2023 is an understatement. This year’s top 30 was incredible. Being surrounded by such intelligent, powerful and purposeful women has been an uplifting experience. I have learned, and continue to learn, so much from them, and I look forward to what the next chapter of this journey has in store for me and the 11 other women I have the pleasure of working with. Thank you to everyone who has lent me their time. Thank you to everyone who voted and showered me with words of love, encouragement and, most importantly, kindness. I love our beautiful nation; that is why I remain confident and committed in my message of unity and finding strength in our diversity.
Nande Mabala (25), from Zweletemba, Worcester, in the Western Cape, is a model, micro-influencer, philanthropist and a triple major BA Arts graduate.
“Making it to the top 12 has affirmed my dreams are valid and attainable. My standout moment has to be when I was told I had made it to the top 12. I cried tears of victory. I am so proud of myself; I showed the judges my heart, and they saw something in me. They believed in my advocacy and my capabilities. I am surrounded by incredible women from whom I can learn. The journey so far has been nothing short of amazing; I have learned a lot about myself and my capabilities already. It has taken me out of my comfort zone in the best way.”
Natasha Joubert (25), from Tshwane in Gauteng, is a BCom Marketing Management graduate and is the owner and fashion designer of Natalia Jefferys, a company she started when she was 19.
“It feels surreal being back and being granted a second chance! I know this is a testimony I need to share and an incredible message: ‘You’re never a product of your circumstances. You’re a product of your choices.’ I felt incredible when I walked out of my interview, knowing I wore my heart on my sleeve. I want to fully take on these new challenges, grow and evolve even more as a woman, and simultaneously let go and enjoy every second! Our group of finalists are fierce! Let me tell you that! I will be forever grateful for this second chance!”
Viewers will get to meet the top 12 finalists in Crown Chasers, a full-blown and thrilling TV show, revealing the Miss South Africa competition as it’s never been seen before.
In the 5 x 60-minute series, those competing for the crown will be placed in real-life Miss South Africa scenarios that include several challenges based on the four pillars of Miss South Africa – duty, championship, empowerment and beauty.
This year’s top 12 Miss South Africa 2023 finalists have been announced.
The 2023 winner will be crowned at Sun International’s flagship venue, the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria, on Sunday, 13 August, during an event that promises to be a spectacular and entertainment-packed show.
The contestants represent five provinces – Gauteng has five (including two from the Vaal Triangle and one from Tshwane), followed by the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape with two each, while the North West boasts one finalist.
They are an impressive group and include a lawyer, a sports scientist, a pharmacist and a four-time graduate with psychology and medical sociology degrees
The panel who selected the top 12 are former Miss South Africa Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala (2010), who has served before as a judge; Nobukhosi Nkosi, the award-winning fashion designer and stylist who is the brains behind the brand Khosi Nkosi and CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation, Stephanie Weil.
The winner of the People’s Vote was Lungo Katete from Midrand, who has a Master’s in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand.