On Friday, 11 November 2022, 35-year-old wife and mother-of-two Palesa Matjekane was crowned as Mrs South Africa during a glamorous crowning event that took place at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.
The show was hosted by award-winning South African TV presenter Katlego Maboe, alongside a spectacular showcase of South African talent.
This year’s judging panel consisted of principal judge Matapa Maila, and included Madelain Roscher, Tansey Coetzee, Dr Fezile Mkhize, Jacqueline Ferns, Storm Johnson and Mankoana Nhlebela.
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Speaking to TRUELOVE, the businesswoman from Bryanston revealed that the second time was the charm for her.
“For those who don’t know, I’m actually entering the competition for the second time. I first entered in 2020 but did not make it to the finals, so I took it upon myself to look at my journey. I then realised that I hadn’t given it my all and the judges didn’t get to fully know me and I thought to myself to give myself some time to work on me,” she explains.
“After doing introspection and finding myself again, I came back this year and the pageant elevated me and reignited my dreams once more,” she continues.
For Palesa, being Mrs South Africa means giving a voice to and representing women all around the world.
“Being given this platform to represent women not just in South Africa but globally means I can give voices to women who wish to reignite their age-scared dreams. As women, we carry so much. We are mothers, sisters and wives, and we never have time to do something we want to do for ourselves. So, I believe that this kind of platform affords you that – to relook at your life and reignite your dreams and to look at women that are coming from different sectors and to collaborate with them and work alongside them while empowering each other,” she says.
To further empower women, Palesa - who is a youth activist and mentor through her foundation with Huawei - plans to host an event that will happen every three months where women can have a sit-down and reflect together.
“We’ll get women to sit down and speak about issues they are tackling in the tissues they face on a daily basis, whether personally or in different sectors they’re in. I believe in the power of storytelling and that we go through so many similar things, so it’s always good to know that you’re not alone and to support each other,” she concludes.
Here’s a look at the crowning moment:
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