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Bonang Matheba Is Hosting a Pageant Celebrating African Women Changing the World


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A new kind of pageant is coming to South Africa — and education bursaries are among the prizes.  

South African media personality and entrepreneur Bonang Matheba is partnering with the People’s Pageant SA for the event, which will celebrate women who are helping to transform the world around them. 

Physical appearance, unlike traditional pageants, reportedly isn’t a factor — instead, winners will be named based on the impact they’re having on society. 

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Among the winners will be 30 women and girls, awarded bursaries through the Bonang Matheba Foundation, with each bursary valued at R50,000 each. 

"I want to share the knowledge and pay it forward by giving direction and inspiration to help young South Africans," said Matheba. 

Wanna know why I’m smiling so hard? Because in 2019, 10 MORE South African girls will receive the incredible opportunity of going to University! Last night, we announced our plans for the 2019 Bonang Matheba Bursary Fund Program & boooooyyyy am I excited! I’ve partnered with an incredible organization who believe in my passion of EDUCATING THE AFRICAN GIRL CHILD! So once again, I’m taking my girls to SCHOOL!! Details will be announced in December 2018! @pennies4girls you INSPIRE me Sis, remember that target we spoke about?!! It’s happening, ONE DAY AT A TIME! Grateful to God for all the blessings - remember, God gives TO you, so He can give THROUGH you!! Let’s change the bloody world!!!! 🙏🏽🙏🏽💐💕

A post shared by Bonang Matheba (@bonang_m) on

Matheba, who was awarded the “5 For Changemaker Award” at the 5 For Change Black Tie Gala in October, is well known for using her platform to help advance social justice issues in South Africa and around the world — specifically in the area of education. 

“This is all about passing it on and giving a leg up to those who are determined to make it,” said Matheba, about the pageant. “My mission for 2019 is to dedicate time and attention to initiatives and engage partners who are in support of African women’s education and empowerment.”

Matheba said being passionate about empowerment and education is a great fit for her. 

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“I sincerely believe that South African women can be the change we need to be as a nation, and the People’s Pageant SA is such a special opportunity to uncover our gems,” she added.

Matheba has also already appeared on the Global Citizen Festival stage in New York — and will next be heading to Johannesburg, to co-host Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, presented and hosted by the Motsepe Foundation, alongside Naomi Campbell, Dave Chappelle, Sir Bob Geldof, Nomzamo Mbatha, Tyler Perry, and Forest Whitaker. 

World leaders, NGOs, and corporations attending Mandela 100 on Dec. 2 at the FNB Stadium are expected to commit $1 billion towards ending extreme poverty. 

According to Misha Daniel, the CEO of the People’s Pageant SA, the aim is to promote self-actualisation and afford individuals from all walks of life a platform to not only change their lives but to make an imprint in the lives of future generations. 

She added that Matheba “truly inspires women by being the best she can be, helping those around her and being such a strong advocate of women’s empowerment.”

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The pageant — for which applications are now open —  is designed to “redefine beauty” and change perspectives on what it means to be beautiful. 

“We are an organisation that prides itself in emancipating the mind and redefining beauty, beauty that encompasses not only physical beauty but mental emancipation too. We are looking for a female who possesses in-dependency,” it said in a statement. “We believe that beauty is multidimensional and should be celebrated in all its forms.”

Face-to-face auditions will reportedly be held in May, a bootcamp will be held for contestants in October, and the finals themselves will be held in December 2019.

The organisers said, as well as the bursaries, prizes include R1m in cash; a new Mercedes-Benz G Wagon; a R2.5m luxury apartment; R500,000 shopping voucher; R300,000 custom jewel set; a monthly salary and; financial mentorship for 12 months. 


The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 is presented and hosted by The Motsepe Foundation, with major partners House of Mandela, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Coca Cola Africa, Big Concerts, BMGF Goalkeepers, Eldridge Industries, and associate partners HP and Microsoft.