Sibabalwe Gcilitshana was named one of Miss South Africa 2019’s top 16 finalists yesterday and what makes her selection iconic is that she is the first openly queer finalist.
In an interview with DRUM Magazine, Sibabalwe said, ‘I’m so proud to be the first queer woman on the competition because this shows us how progressive our country has become, and representation matters.’
‘Before entering the competition, I hadn’t given it much thought because it’s my identity. But now, I’m deliberately speaking out about my sexuality because I understand that not everyone has that opportunity. People are still hiding because of fear, and if my speaking out helps someone, then I’ve done what I wanted – to represent and be a voice for the voiceless.’
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A day in the life of a finalist – my first official day as a #misssa2019 finalist with my sash and all! Swipe left to see what I got up to. Everyone can tell that I’m big on smiling and a big shoutout goes to @drnormancahi @chelseacahi and their team @cahidentalpractice for keeping my smile radiant! Thank you to the humans @jacabreakfast [ @deankpaulse & @carlamackenzie7 ] for taking care of us while on air with @liesllaurie. Thank you to @georgebetsakos for hosting the top 16 for our finalist breakfast at Tasha’s Mall of Africa. Thanks to @gelishsa and @morgantaylorsa for my fresh manicure ?? Last but not least, thank you to the @fakebake_sa team for hosting and treating us to some goodies this morning.
According to her official Miss SA bio, she is a 24-year-old parliamentary officer from Bellville and a researcher from Equal Education.
The crowning of Miss South Africa 2019 will take place on 9 August at the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. The theme for 2019 is ‘Dreamwalkers’ and it aims to break the narrow of what it means to be beautiful and to be a beauty queen.
2019’s diverse group of finalists also have plus sized women for the first time, and they have said that transwomen are eligible to enter.
Transwomen can enter Miss South Africa, however, entries for 2019 are closed. Please keep an eye on social media for 2020 entry information in the new year.
— Miss South Africa (@Official_MissSA) June 30, 2019
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