From bikini backlash to #Mindf

Photo: @abigailmusida/Twitter

From bikini backlash to #MindfulMondays for Miss South Africa

Miss SA 2020, Shudufhadzo Musida is ‘excited and proud’ to launch #MindfulMondays – a series of conversations on mental health.

From bikini backlash to #Mindf

Photo: @abigailmusida/Twitter

Miss South Africa 2020, Shudufhadzo Musida is set to launch her online mental health initiative #MindfulMondays this February 2021.

Shudufhadzo Musida launches mental health initiative

Musida – who announced that she would be focusing on raising awareness around mental health when she took the Miss South Africa crown in October last year – will speak to various experts on a diverse range of topics related to the subject every Monday. Some think these discussions will include her being trolled last year on the basis that she’s ‘not doing enough charity work’, nor is she ‘fulfilling the duties of her title’, after she posted various bikini pictures on her social media accounts.

According to Miss South Africa’s official website, the programme, hosted in conjunction with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), launches on Shudu’s Instagram platform @shudufhadzomusida on Monday, 8 February 2021 at 19:00. Her conversations will also be available at a later stage on the Miss South Africa social media platforms, YouTube, and as podcasts.

#MindfulMondays Topics

Musida’s first guest will be clinical psychologist and SADAG board member Zamo Mbele whose conversation focuses on mental health. Their discussion will include the difference between mental health and mental illness; mental health stats in South Africa; how it impacts people; what are some of the different types of mental health issues; who treats them; what resources are available and how COVID has impacted mental health.

On Monday, 15 February, the focus will be on teen depression to mark Teen Suicide Prevention Week. Shudu’s guest will be GP and social media influencer Dr Sindi van Zyl who will talk about teen depression, its causes and symptoms; are boys and girls affected differently; how does one identify the warning signs for suicide; how to start the conversation with a friend or child about depression or suicide and how does one get help if you, or someone you know is thinking of suicide?

Going forward Musida will tackle other vital mental health issues including: Bullying, grief and loss, men and depression, social media and mental health, substance abuse and the impact on families, the power of support groups, understanding the highs and lows of bipolar disorder and sleep and mental health.

On Mental Health

Musida has always been candid about how bullying affected her mental health: “The bullying happened when I moved to a new school. Before the age of nine I was a bubbly little girl but then people found it okay to bring me down at a time when I was only trying to discover myself. The ramifications were enormous,” she says.

During the bullying, Musida started to dress like a boy.

“It got to the point where I thought if I covered up and didn’t draw too much attention to myself, maybe it would stop. I developed low self-esteem and it took me a long time to realise that it was actually never about me but about the people who were doing the bullying.

“For me personally, mental health is something that is not really spoken about. Unfortunately, it is considered a taboo subject that is often engaged with, not to rehabilitate but to shame, so I want to bring that conversation into the open. It’s time our society stands together to confront this.”