THE Miss SA pageant is back – and before you scoff and bring up arguments about its relevance, new judge DJ Black Coffee thinks we would be worse off without it.
The names of 33 semifinalists were announced yesterday – among them leggy former Port Elizabeth schoolgirl Ziphozakhe Zokufa, who now does a lot of modelling in Cape Town and elsewhere in the country.
Zokufa, 22, is a former Weekend Post J&B Fashion Challenge winner and last year modelled for Revlon cosmetics brand Charlie.
Zokufa, who matriculated from The Hill College and is a former Miss NMMU, is the only Eastern Cape contender in the pack – Gauteng has 12 followed by the Western Cape’s 10, KwaZulu Natal’s five and the Free State’s two. Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga also have only one entrant each.
The 33 will be whittled down to an eventual 12 finalists to be announced on February 2 The popular DJ – real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo – admits the status of the pageant had waned dramatically since the era of the likes of winners Vanessa Carreira- Coutroulis, Kerishnie Naicker, Basetsana Khumalo and Jacqui Mofokeng.
He was “reluctant” to join the judging panel “sitting in a room and pointing a finger and saying: ‘You’re beautiful, and you’re not'”.
But then he revealed an almost paternal side when he explained why he eventually signed on. “I’m always looking for platforms to communicate inspiration with people. I had a talk with these girls earlier – I see them bringing back self- love.
“Most young girls look for validation in the wrong places, and this pageant is bringing back that culture of loving yourself.”
He added: “It wasn’t helping us [the period of unpopularity], because we lost a lot of values and girls are so misguided – you even see it on Twitter. I told the girls how their tweets could actually ruin their lives.”