Name: Tidimalo Sehlako
Region: Vereeniging, Gauteng
Occupation: I recently completed my degree, which is a double major in journalism and marketing at Monash University.
What lessons did you learn during The Road to Miss SA TV shoot at Sun City?Dealing with the pressure and maintaining composure was by far the hardest lesson. Being in a competitive environment is also a test of character.
What were the highlights of your Sun City stay? The Sun City experience on its own was a highlight in my life. What stood out for me most was the dancing challenge. I love dancing. I have been dancing since I was eight, so when I hear a beat I just want to move. I learnt from my fellow finalists that the beauty of life never ceases. To be surrounded by people who are gorgeous, have sound intellect and big hearts is overwhelming. Most people say you can’t have it all, but my fellow finalists have it all. I love them.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? For me Miss South Africa is more than just a platform to celebrate a woman’s beauty. It is a means to social change; I would like to build on the legacy that exists and use it to shape the quality of women from my generation and, most importantly, be an advocate for better education and educational infrastructure.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you? Basetsana Kumalo still stands out for me. She was crowned when I was three-years-old, growing up she was a household brand. She has relentless presence and she has carried the crown beyond her reigning year. She is a beauty pageant winner, TV personality, businesswoman, mother, wife and a philanthropist. For me, she is a super woman.
Who are your role models? My mother, Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelo. All these women resonate with me, they are true queens.
As far as I know there is no woman stronger than my mother. She is fearless and resilient and I want to be like her when I grow up. Beyoncé and Oprah Winfrey are power houses; their work ethics are highly vociferous. That is one skill they inspire me to master. Maya Angelo just permeates greatness, her wisdom makes it seem like she has lived many life times.
Tell us a bit more about your family? My mother is self-employed, she runs an NGO in the Vaal called iKeletse Ka Kopano. My father passed away when I was six and he was the grandson of the Founder of the IPHC Church. I have 10 siblings from my dad and I’m the only child with my mom.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I like going to Arts on Main in the Joburg CBD, it has a relaxed and artistic ambiance. If I’m not at Arts on Main I am either reading a book or riding my bicycle.
2014 is the year in which SA celebrates its 20th year of democracy – what does that mean to you? Firstly the opportunity to be part of Miss South Africa during such a memorable year is overwhelming. Diversity and democracy are now a South African culture. This has shaped who I am and the reason being is that democracy is all I know. It is humbling to know that I am a product of a melting pot of so many dynamic people.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? Only a woman and a girl understand the challenges of being an authentic woman. It is through that understanding that we have the responsibility to shape a better calibre of women in South Africa; we should not be desensitised towards the struggles faced by our South African sisters. One woman’s happiness should be another woman’s joy.
If you won the Miss SA crown and was able to meet one person, who would it be and why? Maya Angelo as she has an aura of pure wisdom; I feel like just a few words shared with her will enlighten me on being a woman.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Most people say I look like a fragile person but I’m actually tough as nails. My mom raised me to stand up for myself.
What are you reading? Shake the World by James Marshall Reilly
What is on your iPod? Jay-z, Magna Carta
Your favourite TV show? Suits
Your favourite meal? Braaied meat and pap.
Twitter handle: @purelyjazz (https://twitter.com/purelyjazz)
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-SA-Tidimalo-Sehlako/1483058578587162
Facebook Page Name: Miss SA Tidimalo Sehlako