Name: Ntsiki Mkhize
Region: Kliprivier, Midvaal, Gauteng
Occupation: I hold a BCom Marketing Management and a BCom Honours in Logistics Management from the University of Johannesburg. After obtaining my undergraduate degree I began working in sales as a client executive at 21st Century Pay Solutions Group. This was prior to my recent appointment as partnerships and events manager for Small Business Connect. I love this position as it’s a perfect outlet for my passion for small business and entrepreneurship, particularly among African youth and women.
Previous pageants won: Miss Spring Queen (2007) and Miss Annirand, University of Johannesburg (2010).
Why do you want to be Miss South Africa and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role? I firmly believe the pageant is an incredible platform for any young woman aiming for the stars. Having had the privilege of witnessing many other phenomenal women from humble beginnings reach great heights, I’m also inspired and given hope that I can also achieve greatness and inspire young girls and women. I have entered the pageant three times and each year I dust myself off and try again because I owe it to myself. I believe that winning the title alone would be a story of resilience that I deem a necessary reminder to our people to never give up on their dreams. I am confident that I have the right qualities to wear the crown with grace, become a positive role model and a relatable ambassador for the country. I would like to use the platform to inculcate the culture of entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency among our youth and to encourage more women to own their own businesses. I believe I will bring to the role a mature understanding of what the role of Miss South Africa embodies. I am optimistic, enthusiastic and a dedicated personality, with a love for people and genuine passion for South Africa and the continent.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you and why? Basetsana Kumalo. I believe she embodies the essence of a Miss South Africa and is an example of beauty with substance. She is a philanthropist, a shrewd business woman and a proud South African. I am inspired by her resilience and staying power. Years after her crowning, she remains a relevant Miss South Africa title holder
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why? My grandmother and Dr Mampela Rampele inspire me. My gran, who recently turned 86, is an inspiration because she embodies the strength of a woman. She was a single mother and a domestic worker with a Grade 3 education, but she managed to raise empowered children who made their own successes. Her character exudes effortless humility.
Dr Rampele inspires me as I believe her life is such a success story by making something out of nothing. She shows the importance of education, setting and achieving goals, as well as breaking the glass ceiling in your life.
Tell us a bit more about your family? Having lived in the township as a child and then in the suburbs, my dad thought it would be a great idea to move to a farm. He is a people’s person at heart and a natural businessman; he is a qualified optometrist and spends his time farming when he is not practicing. My mother is a dietician who works for the Department of Health and specialises in child nutrition. My parents met in varsity and have been together for 24 years. My father is the calculated go-getter and my mom brings calm and warmth into every situation. I have learnt so much from them. I have an 18 year old sister who has just finished matric. She is creative and would like to study graphic design, architecture or psychology. My sister is fun, she knows me better than anyone and I can always trust her to give me her honest opinion.
What do you do in your spare time? In the little down time I have I enjoy reading and writing. I try to sneak in a dance class or I go running when I can as a change from my gym routine.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? My message is: You are enough, you matter and you are worthy!
If you won the Miss SA crown and were able to meet one person, who would it be and why? As Miss South Africa the one person I’d like to meet is the young woman who feels unworthy, confused and scared. I would like to say to her: No matter where you are now, things will work out. Chin up queen, otherwise the crown will fall.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Most people are surprised when they find out I used to play touch rugby and I trained with Easterns. Most would be surprised to know I teach Children’s Ministry (Sunday school) at the Christian Family Church International.
What are you reading? Africa’s Future: Darkness to Destiny by Duncan Clarke
What is on you iPod: I am currently listening to South Africa’s new hip hop which has grown and taken on its own identity that I think most people appreciate. I have some We Will Worship and Hillsong.
Your favourite TV show: I don’t get much time to watch TV, but I enjoy crime investigation shows like CSI, NCIS and Law and Order and good comedies.