A PORT Elizabeth model has been named as one of the 12 finalists in the Miss South Africa pageant.
Walmer township beauty Ziphozakhe Zokufa, 22, is the only Eastern Cape representative.
The former Weekend Post J&B Fashion Challenge winner’s love for beauty pageants started when she was eight years old.
She used to wear her mom Feziwe’s scarf as a sash and pretend to model in front of her cheering family.
“Being part of Miss South Africa has always been my dream. In 2011, I went to the Miss SA workshop in Johannesburg and had to listen to the then Miss SA, Melinda Bam.
“At that time, I was not ready to enter the pageant but this year I knew it was something I had to do. I entered the competition on August 29 last year, on my birthday.
“I started panicking when I did not get a response because I was not sure if they had received my application, which I submitted online,” she said.
She did not have to wait too long before the organisers finally called and told her she was one of the semi- finalists.
The television production student, who has just completed her first year at AFDA in Cape Town, said she could not believe it at first.
“It has been a lifelong dream for me to be part of Miss SA. The Miss South Africa brand would be the perfect platform for me to be an agent for change. It also feels good to be representing the province on a national scale. By entering Miss SA, it is not only about reaching my goal but also to inspire the youth in my province,” she said.
Zokufa was also Miss Eastern Cape Teen 2009, Miss Nelson Mandela Bay 2009, New Face International winner 2009, Miss Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2011 and Miss Mamelodi Sundowns Eastern Cape in 2012.
“It has been a blessing to have my parents’ support. They have been my ultimate role models, especially my mother, Feziwe, who was a model in her early years. She knows the ups and downs of this industry.
“I was also inspired by former Miss SA Basetsana Khumalo, who won the title in 1994. She has truly used her title accordingly. She is a powerful businesswoman who has implemented change in this country. She is definitely the kind of woman I aspire to become,” Zokufa said.