Name: Matlala Mokoko
Region: Currently resident in Johannesburg but grew up in Ga-Masemola, Marogwe in Limpopo
Occupation: I am a student at the University of Johannesburg doing B Comm Accounting. I plan on obtaining my degree by the end of this year and doing my Honours in Financial Management.
What lessons did you learn during The Road to Miss SA TV shoot at Sun City? The first is to know yourself, when it is enough and when you must do better. Another is that you must welcome the challenges in your life, embrace them and grow from them. I also learnt that how far you think you’ve pushed yourself is only the beginning, you can always do more. Hard work comes as a standard in my life, so the daily pressures reinforced the notion that I can do more. It reminded me to live a life of passion and to immerse myself in it. I also realised that beauty is not enough. One needs to be a hardworking individual.
What were the highlights of your Sun City stay? It was meeting the children at the orphanage. It took me back to my childhood memories of being a kid in the village. The games we played, the friends I had. All the girls are now friends of mine because we all went through the same things and that cemented a strong bond between us all.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? To motivate and inspire, especially young people. It is crucial for them to start young in exploring the opportunities given to them. They must always be mindful that as young people, the world has many doors that we have keys to which we can open. Challenges must not deter us and through commitment, dedication and a persistent focus we can reach our destiny. No matter where you come from, be it the rural areas such as me, or the city, success is attainable.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you? Basetsana Khumalo as she has strived to be a renowned business woman and has not only let her title see her through but the essence of who she is and her substance has seen her furthering herself beyond the title.
Who are your role models? I have a few role models in my life. They range from my friends to my parents to Khanyi Dlhomo. Each of these people poses characteristics to which I admire.
Tell us a bit more about your family? I am blessed to still have both my mother and father, happily married. My mother is a government administrator; my father is the principal of a school. I have two sisters and a brother.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I coach netball, I tutor, and I also model. Most dear to my heart is playing netball for the first team of the University of Johannesburg and I have both my provincial and national colours for netball.
2014 is the year in which SA celebrates its 20th year of democracy – what does that mean to you? It means sustained conviction that things had to change from what and how they were. This includes education, opportunities and service delivery.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? Have confidence in your abilities and explore every opportunity that comes your way, while I’d like to encourage others, both younger people and older, to do so through positive motivation.
If you won the Miss SA crown and was able to meet one person, who would it be and why? Former President, Thabo Mbeki. There is something about him that leads me to believe that I could learn a great deal from him. Other than the obvious, that he was the president of the country for good reason, I feel that he could tell an incredible story and walk you through the past and give you wisdom for the future.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Weird food. As soon as I get home, I open the fridge and dive into a bowl of Mopani worms. I enjoy mogodu/tripe, chicken heads and feet.
What are you reading? The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
What is on your iPod? Everything
Your favourite TV show? I am a reality TV junkie.
Your favourite meal? Pap and spicy Mogodu, courtesy of my mother. She is a brilliant cook.
Twitter handle: @matlalamokoko (https://twitter.com/matlalamokoko)
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-SA-Matlala-Mokoko/1404682486445914
Facebook Page Name: Miss SA Matlala Mokoko