Meet Ntando Sgudla, sports ambassador, student, influencer, and Miss Teen Universe 2022 first princess.

What one eighteen year old pageant winner, University of Pretoria student and influencer is already achieving in her teens, is a picture of how much progress ‘is’ possible, within a generation.

Ntando Sgudla welcomes us into her home, where she shares a bit about her background and the loving home that she was blessed to grow up in.  

“I grew up playing every sport under the sun and even dabbled in gymnastics and a bit of dance. I love sports so much that I became a bit of a tomboy and saved all my hair off so never in a million years did I think that I’d ever be into pageantry and modeling at all.”

A little push from her mom saw her giving it a red-hot go but it didn’t come without sacrifice. 

“It takes serious focus and determination and sacrifice to do well or even place at a pageant so I had to really do a lot of hard work. I had to sacrifice my social life and I had to learn how to balance school and pageantry because I was in matric. There was no time for fun and games,” reveals Ntando. 

She went on to claim the Miss Teen Universe SA 2021 crown and went on to represent South Africa on the global stage in Dubai.  

“My mom has been absolutely instrumental in the progression of my career in pageantry. She has really just pushed me to be everything and more… It makes me emotional sometimes to think about how my mom has supported me,” shares Ntando. 

Ntando’s mom was with her every step of the way to coach and encourage her, and is now the one managing her.  

If any young hopeful aspiring to a crown needed a fashion godfather then designer Gerrit Pienaar was Ntando’s first choice.

He dressed her for her first pageant and after reached out to her as he thought she had something unique and looked forward to walking the journey with her. 

“I judge a lot of pageants and I dress a lot of pageant queens and Ntando just had something that made her stand out,” shares Gerrit. 

He talked us through the gold evening dress that  Ntando  wore in Dubai and turned out to be a total showstopper. 

The duo opted for gold and a fitted dress with a beautiful cape that draws the eye as it provided a lot of movement in that it was soft and flowy.  

“It was definitely a showstopper because no one else thought to do a cape. Everyone either had a very big ball gown or just a simple fitted dress. Mine was an absolute showstopper because I had movement and win underneath my wings… it was just gorgeous.” 

The impression Ms. Sgudla has made on stage and in netball has now seen her appointed an official ambassador of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture by Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

In her new roles as an ambassador for young women and South Africa, Ntando aims to make her success count by heeding her mother’s encouragement of pulling another sister up when given an opportunity to do so. An example we certainly all can follow. 

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