Dr. Claude Mashego, a 24-year-old medical doctor from Mpumalanga, was crowned as Miss World South Africa 2023 at the State Theatre in Pretoria on Saturday. Dr Mashego will go on to represent the nation in the upcoming Miss World pageant that will be held in India in March next year.
The event, hosted by Minnie Dlamini and preceded by a red-carpet show hosted by Lunga Shabalala and Yaya Mavundla, highlighted the country’s resurgence in the realm of pageantry.
The Miss World Organisation’s chair and CEO, Julia Morley, was in attendance of the event and emphasised the significance of South Africa joining over 140 countries participating in the global pageant.
The top five finalists included Mashego, Motheo Mokoto, Asande Mchunu, Zoalise Jansen van Rensburg, and Alyssa Joan Smith.
Mashego was crowned the winner, with Smith as the second runner-up and Jansen Van Rensburg as the first runner-up.
Karolina Bielawska, the reigning Miss World from Poland, ceremoniously crowned Mashego, marking the beginning of her tenure as the official representative of South Africa for Miss World.
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Mashego expressed her intention to create a network of “young leaders and community-builders” in South Africa and across the continent through her non-profit, the Young Leaders Network. She emphasised the power of working together to transform Africa into a powerful and prosperous region.
As quoted by News24, she said:
“There will be communities I can never reach for geographical reasons and because I am just one person. But can you imagine what we could achieve if young people across this country and continent came together with the common goal of building Africa into the powerhouse we know it can be…”
Mashego went on to highlight the importance of pageants as platforms for community-building and inspiring positive change.
Her background as a medical professional, graduating from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, showcased her capabilities and passion for making a meaningful impact.
Congrats to Mashego. We’re excited to see how she represents South Africa for the first time ever on the global Miss World stage in March next year.
Feature Image: Instagram / @claudemashego