Hailing from Venda, Limpopo and boasting an incredible career as a model and a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pretoria. Shudufhadzo is also currently in pursuit of a postgraduate degree at the University of Witwatersrand. In a candid 'Ask Me Anything,' Miss South Africa stand out candidate Shudufhadzo Musida opens up about self-care, Gender-Based Violence, and her quest for purpose.
GLAMOUR: For people that don't know you how would you describe yourself?
Shudufhadzo Musida: I would describe myself as a strong woman and a free spirit, that has a deep desire to live a life of service to herself and the world community.
GLAMOUR: What are the three things you want people to remember you for?
Shudufhadzo: My heart. My passion. My work.
GLAMOUR: Tell us more about your Miss South Africa journey and what would you like to achieve on this platform?
Shudufhadzo: I think that Miss South Africa is an amazing platform to bring about change. I would like to use this platform to work towards my social cause of educational and economic empowerment of women and children, especially in disadvantaged communities. I would like to use this platform to not only better myself, but the lives of many who come from disadvantaged environments.
GLAMOUR: You also use your platform to bring awareness to socio-economic issues such as poverty and assisting the less fortunate in whatever ways you can. Is this something you have always been passionate about?
Shudufhadzo: Yes, I have had the dream to help people and live a life of service since I was about 8/9. I come from a village, very similar to the villages I help now, where there are socio-economic issues such as poverty, period poverty from lack of access, food insecurity, water insecurity. These are issues that not only affect many lives at the home base, but also perpetuate the poverty cycle that exists. Education and access to education is usually undermined by the aforementioned issues. I wanted to make a change and use the platform that came with it to make sure I bring awareness to these issues. So, this was one of my biggest motivations for entering.
GLAMOUR: Gender- Based Violence in South Africa is at its peak and for years women and children have had to endure this societal ill. Do you think the youth of South Africa is well equipped to fight against Gender-Based Violence?
Shudufhadzo: I think until the conversations and mindsets of our societies change; the cycle will be perpetuated. The youth have been doing a great job of bringing awareness to gender-based violence (GBV) on social media, and through the organisations of protests using the hashtags from social media, but it is important that the conversations happen at an earlier stage. For example, if a group of men are sitting together and one of them objectifies a woman, it is imperative that the people surrounding him speak up and stand against the behaviour. We need to get to a point where friends and family of abusers or even strangers stop saying “it’s none of my business”.
GLAMOUR: What is the one lesson you would like to teach young girls that look up to you?
Shudufhadzo: I believe that self-love is the foundation of everything. I would like to teach young girls the power of that comes with self-love and being gentle on yourself.
GLAMOUR: How do you take care of yourself? Do you believe in self-care?
Shudufhadzo: I take care of myself by checking in on my mental health. Your mental health really is the powerhouse of everything. The same way that we have to be active in taking care of our bodies, we have to be active in taking care of our mental well-being. This includes taking a break when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or talking to a family member or friend when I’m feeling down. I am firm believer in self-care because it is a form of self-love
GLAMOUR: Do you react to negative comments about yourself on social media?
Shudufhadzo: I usually do not react. I try my best to make sure I stay grounded and remember who I am and why I do what I do.
GLAMOUR: You already have such an impressive resume, is there a particular milestone that you’re still looking to achieve outside of winning Miss South Africa of course lol?
Shudufhadzo: I would love to open a successful foundation that continues the work I have already started in helping with disadvantaged communities, specifically with women and children in mind. I find the work so fulfilling and to be able to do that through my own foundation and make a lasting impact would be a milestone for me.
GLAMOUR: As a young woman who looks to inspire young girls that look like you, what are some of the measures you think should be put in place to assure young girls have an equal say in society?
Shudufhadzo: I think this goes back to societies and the conversations and mindsets therein. So, educating young girls and empowering their voices is a really important measure, because then they will know that they already have an equal say and possibly dismantle structures that believe otherwise.
GLAMOUR: With Black Lives Matter being at the forefront and black people calling out racism and transformation. What do you think we can teach the next generation about inclusion and representation?
Shudufhadzo: I think Rihanna said it best during her NAACP acceptance when she said “If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can only fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I cannot emphasize that enough. We can’t let the de-sensitivity seep in. The ‘If it’s your problem, then it’s not mine.’ ‘It’s a woman’s problem.’ ‘It’s a black people problem.’ ‘It’s a poor people problem, how many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands? They want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too. So, when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jrs and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.” So I think it’s about educating the next generation ,irrespective of race, sex, or religion , about the injustices that exist in our societies, teaching them about the importance of movements such as Black Lives Matter, and the importance of rallying together, despite their “differences”, to fix these injustices , and more importantly teaching them that we all have to show up when there are injustices.
GLAMOUR: What are you most grateful for?
Shudufhadzo: My family.