The Insider SA went behind the scenes at Mrs South Africa 2021’s hybrid event which saw Thenjiwe Mdluli walking away with the crown.

Thenjiwe Mdluli, a 31 years old successful business woman from Edenvale, Johannesburg, walked away with the crown at this year’s Mrs South Africa event.

Thenji believes in the unlimited power of women and hopes that women can see themselves in her story and be inspired to become the best versions of themselves. She is passionate about wellness and nutrition, and her dream is to change the thinking around nutrition and eradicate the scourge of lifestyle disease that is prevalent in low-income communities.

Mrs South Africa positions itself as a life changing female empowerment programme for married women. This year the pageant re-invented its format post COVID by hosting a spectacular hybrid red carpet event that comprised of a VIP Viewing experience at Emperors Palace and a live stream broadcast that was streamed live across the Mrs South Africa platforms.

“Mrs South Africa is not a pageant, it’s an empowerment programme. I’ve walked through it and the growth I’ve experienced in the past two years is something that no other job experience could give me. I’m now stronger, bolder and of more impact to my community” shares Olwethu Nodada, Mrs South Africa 2020 2nd Princess, of the experience.

Mrs South Africa 2021 Finalist, Zikhona Ngxata adds, “As mothers, career women and community builders we often forget ourselves. I think Mrs South Africa is empowering because it gives us the opportunity to go back to self love and empower ourselves, so that we can give from a full cup.”

By winning the coveted title, philanthropist, business woman and fitness enthusiast Thenjiwe Mduli becomes an ambassador and spokesperson for South African women, for the organisation and its sponsors, and represents the country at Mrs World.

The Insider SA seized the opportunity to ask Thenjiwe about her aspirations and thoughts on “Living Better”. This is her take…

What does ‘living better’ mean to you?

“Living better is about being intentional and using every breath to the fullest. It’s about taking care of yourself so that you can be the best version of you. Once you do, it’s easier for you to be of service and uplift others.

How are you aspiring to live better?

“I try to live better by making the correct choices when it comes to my health and wellness: i.e. what I eat, how I use my time and energy, the kind of media/ literature I consume, the people I allow in my space, and how I take care of my body. Once I’ve filled my cup, I am able to give my best to my family and community and do what I can for those in need.”

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

“I want my legacy to show how I fought against the scourge of non-communicable diseases prevalent in low income communities. I would like to have started the movement of nutritious living in these communities because health and wellness is not a luxury it is a basic human right.”

What 2 valuable lessons / pieces of advice would you like to share with South Africa?

“Firstly, I would say stay humble, respectful and grateful when interacting with people from all walks of life. You would be surprised at what you can learn from the most unlikely person. My second piece of advice is to find out what your unique and special skill set is that is needed in the world, so that you can use them to be of service to others. This is the only way that we can uplift the human race.”

Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?

“It’s important for me to stay rooted so I make sure to carve out time for myself (usually at 4am) where I can pray and meditate in my room or outside. This arms me for the day and makes it easier to deal with whatever comes my way. My car is also a good space to regroup and root myself.”

Do you have an encouraging quote for us?

“There is a quote I share with learners at the primary schools I visit: Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor…H. Jackson Brown. This is a reminder to stay ready. Some things may not be in your control but making sure that you put in the work and be ready when opportunity comes is important.”

Any last thoughts in closing?

“Wherever you go and whatever you do, stay true to who you promised yourself you would be. Be authentic because you were made perfect as you are.”