‘Be authentic,’ says Shudu Mus

Former Miss South Africa Shudu Musida. Image via Twitter @officialmissa.

‘Be authentic,’ says Shudu Musida to Miss SA 2021 Lalela Mswane

Former Miss South Africa Shudu Musida feels ‘fulfilled’ as she passes down her crown to the new Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane.

‘Be authentic,’ says Shudu Mus

Former Miss South Africa Shudu Musida. Image via Twitter @officialmissa.

Former Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida passed down her crown to her successor, Lalela Mswane on Saturday 16 October at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town.


Shudufhadzo Musida took her final walk across the stage as Miss South Africa on Saturday 16 October at the GrandWest in Cape Town. She thereafter passed down her crown to 24-year-old Lalela Mswane who is now the reigning Miss South Africa. 

Photo by Gallo Images/ER Lombard.

Shudufhadzo, affectionately known as Shudu, said her advice to the new Miss South Africa is to be authentic and work hard to create her own seat at the table.

“The platform amplifies your voice so while you have the platform, the work that you do is absolutely amazing and will be amplified for the world to see. So while you’re there, be authentic — but also work really hard and create your own seat at the table,” said Shudu to Times Live. 

ALSO READ: Meet our new Miss South Africa! Five things to know about Lalela Mswane


Shudu was crowned Miss South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic, which made her reign different to the ones who came before her. She built her Miss South Africa campaign around mental health. She said that she knew that she had to advocate for mental health and as she passed down the crown she knows she fulfilled her purpose.

“I was in disbelief, but as the months went by I knew why I had to be Miss SA during this time. I knew I had to speak about mental health. I became more confident in what I was doing and why, and what my purpose was. So now, as I hand over the crown, I know that I’ve fulfilled my purpose and there’s no better feeling than that,” said Shudu to the publication. 

She went on to say that she along with team Miss South Africa has done what was necessary to empower the minds of people.

“My mandate, when I became Miss SA, was mental health. We need to empower the minds of people so they can better themselves and be empowered enough to face the situation we are facing right now. I think we [team Miss SA] did the necessary work that was needed to to empower people,” she continued.

During her reign, Shudu completed her honours in international relations at Wits University. Although the misunderstanding surrounding her graduation came under fire.

She also wrote a children’s book about her experiences of being bullied as a child. The book is titled Shudu Finds Her Magic.


The former Miss South Africa titleholder wore a Gert-Johan Coetzee gown for her final walk at the finale. She explained that the dress is a true representation of her reign and who is as a person — as it is the beginning of something great.

Shudu will still represent South Africa at the Miss World pageant in San Juan, Puerto Rico on 16 December. Lalela Mswane will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant. It is unclear which pageants the runner ups Moratwe Masima and Zimi Mabunzi will compete at.

ALSO READ: GALLERY | Miss SA 2021: Red carpet, crowning and the dazzling dresses