Name: Refilwe Mthimunye
Region: Bronkhorstspruit, Tshwane, Gauteng
Occupation: I’m currently doing my 3rd year in LLB Law at the University of South Africa. The reason I’m studying law is I feel that to be a great leader and politician one needs to know the laws oneself. I’m doing my degree part time as I am pursuing my modelling career with the help of Alushi Models Management.
Previous beauty competitions? I’m currently Miss Sundown’s 2nd princess 2013 nationally and provincially for Gauteng. I was also placed as 2nd princess in 2012 for Miss Varsity College, Pretoria.
Why do you want to be Miss South Africa and what do you think you’ll bring to the role? I would love to be Miss South Africa because I feel that we all have a purpose in life and a part of this purpose is to give back and be a blessing to others. This opportunity would help me fulfil this purpose. My role is to serve as the voice of my fellow citizens, especially those who don’t have basic and fundamental rights and privileges in this country. I’d also like to assist in trying to make South Africa a better country.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you and why? Bokang Montjane inspires me. This Miss South Africa 2010 is the founder and director of Bokang Legacy, a producer at PulseTV and she also produces a talk show on SABC 1 called Zaziwa. I feel that in the last four years, and at such a young age, she has managed to achieve so much by using all the platforms given to her. She has also given back greatly to her Limpopo Province. Even after Miss South Africa she still continues to give back to the country. For me she has been a great leader and has motivated me a lot.
Who are you role models/who has inspired you and why? Firstly, it would have to be my mother. She motivates me on a daily basis to be the best I can. She not only shows me the right way of doing things, but also tries to be the best person she can be. For me she is a true leader, someone who leads by example. Secondly, it would have to be Mr Patrice Motsepe who is the founder of Motsepe Foundation. By taking part in Miss Sundowns, I believe I learned a lot from him. This is a man who gives back with an open heart. He has changed the lives of many people in country, including me. Not only does Mr Motsepe give back with his funding, but in his busy schedule he still manages to be physically present at every charity event that has been organised. This country would be a better country if we all had his heart.
Tell us a bit more about your family I come from the best females only household ever. My mother, Gladys, works for the South African Police Services and is a Commissioner at the Cullinan police station. She is the strongest woman I know and I really look up to her. She is my number one fan always. Unfortunately my father died when I was just eight. I am my mother’s first daughter, which I enjoy because I get to be second in charge at home. I have two younger sisters, Thokozile (21), who is a student at Tshwane University of Technology doing her second year in work study, and Zanele (15) who is preparing for Grade 10 next year. I also have a step-brother, Thomas, who doesn’t live with us. I love all my sisters. We all have crazy personalities and are very loud. These women know me very well and when it comes to pageants they advise me a lot.
What do you do in your spare time? I love playing action netball with my friends which is indoor netball. We actually started our own team this year where we participate in tournaments and get to play against other teams. The first season we got placed second. I love playing basketball and also enjoy watching soccer. Basically, I’m a very sporty person. I love singing especially with my younger sister who has a great voice. Right now we are obsessed with Sam Smith. When I don’t have to read my law textbooks I enjoy reading newspapers. During the year 2013/14, I worked a lot with the Motsepe Foundation. We gave talks to primary schools and went around communities handing out toys to children. I’ve grown to love making people happy, so helping out where I am needed has become a hobby for me.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? As young women of today we have many opportunities to make our mark in the universe. I say we take advantage of these opportunities so we can raise future leaders. We need to stand together and should not allow society to dictate our roles. Everything we do we should put God first and the rest will follow.
If you won the Miss South Africa crown and were able to meet one person, who would it be and why? If I won Miss South Africa and was given the chance to meet one person it would have to be Oprah Winfrey. This woman has been to our country many times and has opened a school here. I would love to have tea with her. There is so much wisdom within her that I would love to receive. Every time I watch her motivate people she makes me feel like all my goals are attainable.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Most of the time I might come across as a reserved and focused person until you get to know me. I have been described as crazy which does lead me to being outspoken and creative most of the time.
What are you reading? The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. I went through a rough time at the beginning of this year, so I would say this is my healing book.
What is on your iPod? Josh Groban, Michael Bublè, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Adele, Khuli Chana, uhuru, and Sam Smith. Basically, I listen to any music that has been well produced and it doesn’t matter which genre it is. In high school I used to take music as subject so I learned to appreciate all kinds of music.
Your favourite TV show? It has to be Scandal (The Fixer). I’m addicted and as a law student I feel it gives me so much insight on how politics works, which is frightening but exciting at the same time. I also love listening to the radio.
Your favourite meal? I love our South African indigenous food. Every time I go to hotels I get just a little depressed because I start missing the real-deal kind of food.
Anything else you would love to add? One day I hope to have my own slot on Metro FM and I prepare myself by volunteering for MamsFM, the Mamelodi local community radio station.