REIMAGINING MISS SOUTH AFRICA: IN CONVERSATION WITH STEPHANIE WEIL

Miss South African has undergone a transformation – and Stephanie Weil outlines the past, present, and future of this important organisation.

Miss South Africa, as both the person and pageant organisation itself, is well known to South Africans – however, what many may not know is the behind-the-scenes transformation that the organisation has journeyed through not to just be a once-off event, but a platform for change.

Under the stewardship of Stephanie Weil, Miss South Africa has blossomed into an organisation that up-skills and shapes contestants into champions for women’s rights as leaders and brand ambassadors.

Stephanie herself had her first involvement with the Miss SA Organisation was as their PR and event partner, having learned everything she knows about PR, communication and events from her late mother, Suzanne who founded Nine Squared, a PR and Events company in 2011. 

Suzanne Weil (Stephanie's mother), Suzette van der Merwe (former Miss SA) and Stephanie Weil

In 2019, Stephanie approached Sun International with the suggestion that she should take over the Miss South Africa Organisation. Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming supported this and decided to sell the rights to Weil based on her innovative vision for the future of the pageant.

After successfully purchasing the rights to the Miss South Africa Organisation, Stephanie and her team planned the 61st edition of the pageant in less than a month and were delighted with the success they found.

In 2019, 25-Year-Old Zozibini Tunzi walked away with the title of Miss South Africa 2019 as well as R3 million in prize money that Stephanie secured with sponsorship deals – and further, Zozibini later became the first black woman in history to win the title of Miss Universe.

Following this, Sasha-lee Olivier took over the reins as Miss SA 2019 – the first plus-size model to hold this title; another remarkable achievement.

For Stephanie, the goal is clear: to provide every contestant with the necessary skills to become a savvy and informed career-driven woman with the correct tools to reach her chosen destiny.

For Stephanie, the goal is clear: to provide every contestant with the necessary skills to become a savvy and informed career-driven woman with the correct tools to reach her chosen destiny.

Stephanie has a clear vision for the Miss South Africa Organisation as well as a new look under a new logo and tagline – Face Your Power. Embrace Your Future. 

Today, Miss South Africa is a year-round business, a platform with a leading voice for women’s rights and an opportunity to effect social change. Furthermore, the organisation continues to adapt to the requirements of our time.

Due to COVID-19 and the effects of lockdown, the organisation had to think outside of the box and be as innovative as possible to come up with a new way of showcasing the talent – the Miss SA organisation is now busy scouting for the 62nd title holder which stands for four pillars – Empowerment, Duty, Championship, and Beauty through auditions that will be held digitally.

Furthermore, the challenge presented by COVID-19 means that Miss SA will be accessible online, making it easier for people to interact with her; marking yet another exciting evolution for the pageant and for contestants who are ready to set the stage for their next chapter of growth.

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