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These articles are protected by copyright: Simon Rademan Fashion Design Studio CC  Media request for an interview  Disclaimer:  I do not proclaim to be an authority on any of the subjects I write about.  I merely share my experiences with those who wish to learn from it, or just read about it.

The Style Bible is an easy to read style guide for women - by Simon Rademan - available in bookstoresSimon Rademan, SA fashion designer and stylist, have had the privilege and pleasure of dressing and styling many contestants for beauty competitions.  He has been an esteemed judge at most prestigious competitions - including Miss South Africa, throughout South Africa.  Reflecting on this, Mr Rademan has once again, identified the Miss SA pageant as highly acclaimed, both nationally and internationally. "I am proud of my association with a sought after title that is proudly South African."   (Mr Rademan’s history with this pageant) 

In the free article below, you will find answers to some of the questions that are often posed by the public and the media alike, i.e. criteria, policies behind judging processes, the path forward, etc.

What is a beauty competition?      The most prestigious in South Africa      The biggest competitions in the world

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What is a “beauty competition”?

A beauty contest, or beauty pageant, is a competition based mainly, though not always entirely, on the physical beauty of its contestants, and often incorporating personality, talent demonstration, and question responses as judged criteria. Almost invariably, competitions for men and women are separate events, and those for men are not referred to as beauty contests. Beauty contests for women are more common, and winners are called beauty queens. Beauty contests for men, like Mr. Universe, are more likely to be "body building" contests—quite unlike the traditional "beauty contest" in which women are judged upon many attributes both physical and otherwise. However, in the 1990s, male "beauty contests" began to shift focus. Instead of only considering muscle mass, the competitions began to judge the natural physical attributes of the contestants as well as their physiques. These include Mr. World and Manhunt International.

There are also beauty contests for children. These events are often controversial, particularly when children are dressed provocatively and described in adult terms. Long and tiring rehearsals of singing and dancing to loud music are said to harm the health and development of the children-participants.     read more         read another article       back to homepage 


Miss SA pageant    Miss World pageant    Miss Universe pageant    Miss Earth pageant

The Miss SA pageant:      

Ownership       Duties of the winner       History     

Ownership     This highly prestigious competition is owned by Sun International. - We are recognized as a successful leisure group offering superior gaming, hotel and entertainment experiences, which exceed our customers’ expectations. We have created an environment in which all employees are well trained., motivated and take pride in working for the group. Innovation, fun and an obsession with service excellence and efficiency has made Sun International a formidable competitor as we continue to provide our shareholders with superior returns. We will at all times remain mindful of our responsibility towards all of our stakeholders including the communities we serve.   From

Duties of a Miss SA      Me Tatum Keshwar was the winner of this sought after title for 2008, and  Me Nicole Filnt for 2009, and although not dressed by the design house of Mr Rademan, some other former Miss SA’s were. During Miss South Africa’s reign she will represent South Africa at both Miss World and Miss Universe pageants. There will be promotional work and celebrity appearances, she will travel locally and abroad, she will meet dignitaries, celebrities, the privileged, the underprivileged, the sick and the needy. That's the expectation today, and it's been growing steadily since Norma Vorster was crowned Miss SA in 1956.     

History of the Miss South Africa pageant     The Miss South Africa Pageant has come a long way since 1956 and not without controversy, incident and drama. Originally, it was open only to white women, an exclusion that only ended in 1978. This partiality resulted in South Africa being banned from international pageants because of apartheid between 1978 and 1990. Amy Kleinhans was the first coloured woman to win the Miss South Africa crown in 1992, Jacqui Mofokeng was the first black woman to win in 1993 and Kerishnie Naiker was the first Indian woman to wear the crown in 1997.

Before the 1950s, most major pageants were organised by magazines and newspapers and for many years by the Wool Board but none of them were officially recognised as Miss South Africa pageants. The 50's saw the birth of two famous international competitions - Miss World and Miss Universe and South African beauties began to compete internationally.

Penny Coelen entered Miss South Africa in 1957 and only placed 5th in the competition. She re-entered in 1958 and was crowned Miss South Africa. She followed this triumph with a global victory when she walked away with the Miss World Title in 1958. Penny was South Africa’s first Miss World and today she is still recognised as one of South Africa’s most glamorous icons.

In 1974, Anneline Kriel was crowned Miss South Africa and she too went on to become Miss World although not as a direct result of winning. Anneline finished second in the contest to UK'S Helen Morgan, who resigned her title after only four days due to uproar over her status as an unmarried mother and being named as the other woman in a divorce case. Anneline's angelic blonde looks and high moral standards captured world attention. She too is one of the most well remembered and idolised Miss South Africa’s. She went on to marry Sol Kerzner and Peter Bacon, both former CEO’s of Sun International, who ironically now are the license holders of the Miss South Africa Pageant.

In 1975, Miss SA winner, Vera Johns was declared ineligible to compete in the Miss World competition due to residency requirements, as she was a former Miss Rhodesia. 1st Princess, Crystal Cooper refused to compete at Miss World unless she was awarded the Miss South Africa title and prizes, so second runner-up Rhoda Rademeyer competed at Miss World 1975 and only placed among the 15 semi-finalists.

Yolanda Kloppers was crowned Miss SA in 1978 but it was a Cape Town beauty, Margaret Gardiner who managed through other channels to gain entrance to the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City. Margaret went on to win the coveted title and today she is the only South African to have won that title despite a strong contender in Cindy Nell, Miss SA 2003, who was 1st runner up.

Miss SA 1985, Andrea Stelzer used her German ancestry to gain access to the Miss World Pageant. In 1989, she won the Miss Germany title but unfortunately did not place in the Miss World pageant.

Janine Botbyl was crowned Miss SA in 1988 and she desperately wanted to hand over the beauty mantle to her half sister Diana Tilden Davis the following year but Diana was defeated by Michelle Bruce as Janine had been defeated by Wilma van der Bijl in 1987. Diana did go on to become Miss South Africa in 1991, and after South Africa’s 13-year absence Diana represented South Africa at the Miss World pageant where she came third.

Diana came from an experienced line of beauty queens. Her grandmother Thelma Fairlie was the 1938 winner of the Sunday Express Newspaper ‘Marlene Dietrich look-a-like national contest’ and Leanne Botbyl, her other half sister was a Miss SA finalist in 1982.

Two other sisters who also entered the Miss South Africa pageant and won titles were Odette Scrooby ( Miss SA 1982) and her younger sister, Olivia Scrooby (1st Princess 1990).

Jacqui Mofokeng’s win in 1993 heralded a new birthright for the Miss SA pageant and Nelson Mandela called her an important South African symbol and said that "any victory for one Black South African was a victory for all of us.” From that moment on, the playing field was level and young women entered the pageant knowing that looks were not enough. In 1994, the year of South Africa’s new democracy, Basetsane Makgalemele was crowned Miss SA and in 2000, the millennium title went to Jo-Ann Strauss. 2000 Also marked a turning point in the license-ownership. Formerly two-thirds partners with media personality Doreen Morris, Sun International announced its full ownership of Miss South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Historically, the Miss SA pageant was owned and run by the Sunday Times and Rapport newspapers and was later bought by Doreen Morris. Doreen acquired the pageant at a difficult time in South Africa's history and her tireless efforts resulted in the winners of Miss South Africa becoming proud, and globally accepted representatives of South Africa.

Another historical figure in the production of the Miss SA pageant was the former William C. Faure. Faure directed the Miss South Africa and Miss World contests in the 1990’s and was a major contributor to establishing the Miss SA pageant as a world class production. Prior to directing the Miss SA Pageant, Faure gained international recognition for the television mini-series "Shaka Zulu a 1985 drama made in South Africa about the 19th-century Zulu warrior king. It became one of the most popular mini-series on syndicated television in the United States when it was shown in 1987.

Another veteran producer of the Miss South Africa pageant was Ken Kirsten who in total produced 10 Miss SA pageants. Kirsten is revered for his work in the arena of live special events, covering some of the most high profile events in South African television history. From Miss South Africa and Miss Universe, to Rugby World Cup (1996), the re-launch of the SABC, Africa Cup of Nations (1997) and more recently, the Victor Awards and Miss Teen South Africa pageants.

Tragically both Faure and Kirsten died whilst in their prime. Kirsten was shot at his Northcliff home in April 2006 and Faure died of Kidney failure in 1994 at the youthful age of 45.

The Miss SA Pageant was also directed and produced by Mark West and Anne Williams from 1991 to1996 and then again in 2000 and 2001. Anne and Mark also joined forces for the prestigious Miss World Pageants from 1991to1997. Mark West has also recently been contracted to produce Miss World 2007 and the very first Mr World in China that year. So, it is with tremendous, experience, knowledge and skill that they harness their talents to produce the 2006 - 2009 Miss South Africa and Miss SA Teen.    read more       read another article     back to homepage

From  dd 18.12.07

     Miss South Africa for 2014 is...

Rolene Strauss - at 21, a medical student at the University of the Free State

"When someone says “South Africa” I get goose bumps. I have this fire of passion burning inside of me for our country."

"What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa? We as women have soft and sympathetic souls. We are the ones who give hope, love and comfort. Let us use those qualities." "What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I’m the University of the Free State’s first successful test tube baby." Read the entire interview  -  from

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     Miss SA for 2012/13 was...(The longest running Miss SA as in 2013, the competition was postponed for 4 months)

Marilyn Ramos - Miss South Africa 2012Marilyn Ramos - a 21 year old student – Interior Architecture-Gauteng

As Miss South Africa, she intends to approach and build relationships between the elderly and the youth.  

"I feel that the youth has a lot to learn from the elderly and contrariwise the seniors deserve the affection, compassion and respect of the youth. I intend to encourage young people to volunteer at old aged homes. I will achieve this by hosting workshops, motivational speeches and charity events. I will encourage the youth to visit retirement homes and hospice centers across the country."  - from

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     Miss SA for 2011 was...

Miss South Africa 2011 - Melinda Bam

Melinda Bam

Melinda is a 23 year old ambitious and well-liked young lady currently living in Pretoria, the Jacaranda City.  She is studying BCOM in Marketing at the University of Pretoria.  Melinda matriculated in 2007 and continues to be a student who is hard-working, well-mannered and friendly.  She believes she has the motivation, ambition and confidence to become an inspiring ambassador to South Africa and the youth of South Africa.  This 1.7m tall vibrant young woman has held titles for Miss Tropika, Me Waterkloof and Candy Girl pageants. Melinda has deep brown eyes and sun-kissed blonde hair which add to her fresh and approachable looks.  (from    Poled by many to be the winner, she placed top 10 at the Miss Universe 2012 competition

The results for Miss SA at Miss Universe 2012 were:

Top 5

Winner:  USA - Olivia Culpo

1st princess:  Philippines - Janine Tugonon

2nd princess:  Venezuela - Irene Esser

4th place:  Australia - Renae Ayris

5th place:  Brazil - Gabriela Markus

Top 10

Russia - Elizabeth Golovanova

France - Marie Payet

Hungary - Agnes Konkoly

South Africa - Melinda Bam

Mexico - Karina González

Top 16

Turkey - Çağıl Özge Özkul

Peru - Nicole Faverón

Poland - Marcelina Zawadzka

Croatia - Elizabeta Burg

Kosovo - Diana Avdiu

India - Shilpa Singh

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Miss SA for 2010 was...    Me Bokang Montjane


Miss SA Teen for 2010 was...    Mikaela Oosthuizen


     Miss SA 2009, Me Nicole Flint, (amoungst top 10 at Miss Universe  2010).

Me Nicole Flint, Miss SA 2009Nicole Flint: 

Nicole, 21, is a Public Relations Coordinator for Just Plain Media and performs on air duties as "The Young Apprentice" on Jacaranda 94.2's Breakfast Show. Many people have had an influential impact on her life, but she singled out her grandmother as the most inspirational because she always fought for unconditional rights for all people. Her greatest accomplishment to date has been to get the award for top Radio and TV student at Damelin, helping her to enter commercial radio and map out an opportunity for realising her dreams.  More on the Miss SA website

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     Miss SA Teen for 2009:  Me Chante Jantjies (also crowned Miss Teenager Universe 2010, on 18 October 2010 in Costa Rica)

Me SA Teen, Chante JantjiesChante’ Jantjies:  is 16 years old and attends Lyttleton Manor High School, in Centurion. She has received full national colours for both public speaking and redenaars.

She excels in Economics, Life Orientation and Business and was selected as a presenter for one of the local children’s television channels. She is also only one of two pupils selected to represent her school at the ATKV Jeug Beraad (June 2009). She won the Best Director and Best Actress awards in her House Plays Chante’ wants to study a degree in business and pursue a career in marketing, communication and advertising. Her aim is to create employment, contribute to her community and the economy of her country.

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Miss SA 2008, Me Tatum Keshwar  


Me Tatum Keshwar, Miss SA 2008. Picture from miss SA websiteShe went on to become 2nd princess in the Miss World pageant held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 13 December 2009.  Tatum is 24 and has a Psychology Degree from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Tatum lives with her family in Durban and she loves spending time in Florida Road, Morningside because there are so many great places to eat, catch up with friends and enjoy the sunshine.   Her hobbies and interests include yoga, modelling, reading, going to the gym and the most outrageous thing she's ever done is parasailing and abseiling.

Tatum won the title; Model of the Year in 2005 and believes she has the values and qualities needed to become Miss South Africa 2008. She admires Joanne Strauss most of all the former Miss South Africa's for her inspiring and ongoing success after having won the title of Miss South Africa.   from the Miss SA website

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The Miss World pageant:       Ownership       History    

The Miss World pageant is an international beauty pageant created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Currently, Morley's wife, Julia Morley, co-chairs the pageant.  Miss World is the oldest, most widely attended and broadcasted international beauty pageant, with over fifty delegates from Asia and some parts of Europe. Miss World – The Final is the world's largest live annual television event with global viewers topping two billion in more than 200 countries.  The winner spends a year travelling to represent the Miss World Organization and its various causes. Traditionally, Miss World lives in London during her reign. The current Miss World is Zhang Zilin from PR of China.


Miss World started as the Festival Bikini Contest, in honor of the recently introduced swim wear of the time, but was called Miss World by the press. It was originally planned as a one-off event. Upon learning about the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, Morley decided to make the pageant an annual event.  Opposition to the wearing of bikinis led to their replacement with more modest swim wear after the first contest. In 1959, the BBC started broadcasting the competition. The pageant's popularity grew with the advent of television. By the 1990s, the pageant was reaching two billion viewers from almost every country in the world.    In the 1980s, the pageant repositioned itself with the slogan Beauty With a Purpose, with added tests of intelligence and personality. However, the competition has been seen as old-fashioned and rather politically incorrect in its native Britain. Despite the global appeal, the show was not broadcast on any major terrestrial British TV network for several years, until Channel 5 aired it in 1998.  21st century - Eric Morley died as the pageant entered the new century. His wife, Julia, succeeded as chairwoman of the Miss World Organization.

The century saw its first black African winner, in 2001. As part of its marketing strategy, Miss World came up with a "You Decide" television special during that edition, featuring the delegates behind the scenes and on the beach, and allowing viewers to either phone in or vote online for their favorites. It also sells its Talent, "Beach Beauty" and Sports events as television specials to broadcasters.

In 2002 the competition was slated for choosing Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria to host its final. This choice was controversial, as a northern Nigerian woman, Amina Lawal, was awaiting death by stoning for adultery under Sharia law there, but Miss World chose to use the publicity surrounding its presence to bring greater global awareness and action to Amina's plight.



The Miss Universe pageant:       Ownership       Winner 2006       History

Miss Universe is an annual international female beauty contest run by the Miss Universe Organization.  The contest was founded in 1952 by California clothing company Pacific Mills. The pageant became part of Kayser-Roth and then Gulf and Western Industries, before being acquired by Donald J Trump in 1996.  He sold the organization that includes the Miss Ujiverse, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants to entertainment company WME-IMG in September 2015.. 

The Miss Universe Organization, used to be a New York-based partnership between NBC and Donald Trump,  and has run the contest since June 20, 2002. Their president was Paula Shugart. The Organization sold television rights to the pageant in other countries, and also produced the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contests with the winner of Miss USA representing the USA in Miss Universe.  Alongside with its rival Miss World and Miss Earth contests, this pageant is one of the most publicized beauty contests in the world.                                                    from


The winner of the "Miss America 1951" pageant, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose in a swimsuit from its major sponsor, Catalina swimwear. As a result, the brand's manufacturer Pacific Mills withdrew from Miss America and set up the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests. The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952. It was won by Armi Kuusela from Finland, who gave up her title to get married to a Filipino tycoon, Virgilio Hilario, shortly before her year was complete. Until 1958 the Miss Universe title (like Miss America) was post-dated, so at the time Ms. Kuusela's title was Miss Universe 1953.

The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS began nationally broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1960 and, separately, from 1965. In 2003 NBC took over the television rights.  The main pageant was held consecutively in the continental US from 1952 to 1971. Since then, the pageant has been held in locales around the world.

In the early years of the pageant, the ladies who made the cut were announced after the preliminary competition. From 1965 to the present day, the semi-finalists were not announced until the night of the main event. The semi-finalists once again competed in evening gown and swimsuit and a top 5 were announced. An interview portion was introduced in 1960 to decide the runners-up and winner.  From 1959 to 1964, there were slight format changes. In 1959 through 1963, there was no cut to 5 finalists; the runners-up and winners were called from the assembled 15 semi-finalists. In 1964, the top 15 became a top 10, and after a round of interview, the winner and runners-up were called from the 10 finalists.

In 1965, the pageant returned to the original format of a cut to 5 finalists, and remained so until 1989.  In 1969, a final question was posed to the last five contestants. The final question was an on-and-off feature of the pageant. In 1990, it had taken root and every pageant since, the final contestants have to answer a final question.

In 1990, the pageant implemented major format changes in the competition itself. Instead of five finalists, the field was reduced from 10 semi-finalists to 6. Each contestant then randomly select a judge and answer the question posed by the judge. After that, the field is narrowed down further to a final 3. In 1998, the number of finalists was reduced to 5, although there still was a cut to a final 3. This continued to 2001, where the final 5 format was re-instated.

In 2000, the interview portion of the semi-finals was quietly dropped and the contestants once again, as in the early days of the pageant, competed only in swimsuit and gowns.  In 2006, twenty semi-finalists were announced, with these delegates competing in the swimsuit competition. The number of competing delegates was then cut to ten, with those delegates competing in the evening gown competition. After that round of competition, the final five was announced, with the finalists competing in the "final question" or interview round. At the end of competition the runners-up were announced and the winner crowned by the outgoing queen.

In 2007 the format changed slightly with the top 15 moving to the swimsuit competition; from there, 10 selected contestants moved on to the evening gown competition where half were eliminated. The final five answered the final question to decide the ultimate winner.  . read more         read another article       back to homepage          


The Miss Earth pageant:       Ownership       History

Miss Earth pageant is an annual female spectacle event geared in promoting environmental awareness and currently one of the top three international beauty pageants in the world founded in 2001 by Carousel Productions, Inc. of the Philippines.  The South African leg of this competition is owned by Me Catherine Constantinides.  Together with its competitors, Miss Universe and Miss World contests, the pageant is one of the most publicised beauty contests in the world.      


After establishing a track record in mounting world-class beauty pageants over the last decade, Carousel Productions Inc. decided to reinvent and improve the concept of beauty competitions for the new millennium. Because many people admire and aspire to be a beauty queen, Carousel Productions, Inc. believed beauty queens would be a good and effective advocate of worthy causes. To give life to this vision, Carousel organized and launched in 2001 the MISS EARTH® Beauty Pageant, a beauty event whose raison d’etre was to have its candidates and winners actively promote and get involved in the preservation of the environment and the protection of Mother Earth. Thereafter, the Miss Earth pageant was born.

Coincidentally, Miss Earth was created after Carousel Productions lost the rights to continue producing the Miss Asia-Pacific pageant. In the five years since its conception it has become one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world (The other two are Miss Universe and Miss World).  Since the Miss Earth pageant has an environmental cause, it is primarily looking for young women who will stand for the protection and preservation of the planet. These women are pageant winners or chosen by national Miss Earth directors from different nations.

On national level competitions, the Miss Earth's cause is carried out to assure that each of the participating candidates are not just physically beautiful, but environmentally knowledgeable. As soon as the national winners are chosen, they will be subject to evaluation by Carousel Productions.  During the pre-finals weeks, the candidates are evaluated on each activity and event they have. Preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competitions also take place, and a panel interview where the candidates speak of their environmental platform and personal thoughts.      

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