It was all glitz and glamour at the Soweto Theatre on Saturday, 3 December, as the gorgeous Nthabiseng Kgasi took the title Miss Soweto 2016, proudly sponsored by White Star Super Maize Meal.

Dazzling in an Urban Zulu original, the 21 year old beauty queen from  took centre stage, flanked by her princesses, Kamogelo Kodisang from Orlando West-Mzimhlophe and Nokukhanya Kunene from Emdeni.  From Diepkloof, Phumzile Nyembe earned the “Miss Personality” title and Busisiwe Mmotla from Emdeni was named “Miss People’s Choice.” For the first time in the history of the pageant, White Star presented the “Social Butterfly” title to Tsholofelo Ramodesha for being the most active finalist on social media, while Miss Soweto pageant founder and director, Baba Leonard Sithole, was honoured by White Star with a “Lifetime Achievement” award.

Nthabiseng Kgasi describes herself as a strong, ambitious and goal-driven 21-year old African woman. She is currently studying towards a degree in Marketing & Communications. Born in Protea Glen, she says her get-up-and-go mentality drives her towards reaching for all her dreams as she has learnt to believe that all dreams are valid – this is why she has entered this pageant for the second time. She hopes that being crowned as Miss Soweto 2016 will help her start her own foundation called “Rough Diamonds”,  which will focus on encouraging young girls from Soweto to chase after their dreams and empower them to be the best versions of themselves.

This year’s pageant promised to be world-class from its launch, entertainment featured the American songstress, Monique Bingham, who wowed the crowd with her soulful sounds accompanied by a variety of Soweto’s talents that were discovered at the White Star Talent Search held earlier in the year. Another special moment included Buhle Xulu being presented with a beautiful portrait of herself as a show of appreciation for her outstanding role as Miss Soweto 2015.  MC’s Refiloe Motsei and Thato Molamu were also a hit with the audience using their wit and high energy to ensure the night flowed seamlessly.

The quality of this year’s entrants was exceptional and of course the finalists made quite an impression on the judges when they were chosen as the Top 20 to compete in this prestigious annual event. Finalists were truly beautiful inside and out, making the judges decisions even harder to make. White Star and the pageant organisers made sure that the contestants were prepared for this gruelling contest, as all the finalists were taken through an intensive programme of coaching, judging, rehearsals and public appearances to groom them for this coveted title.

Miss Soweto 2016, is now the pride of Soweto and the judges are confident that she will take the title to the next level.

According to White Star Marketing Manager Mokhele Makhothi, “Selecting Nthabiseng Kgasi is a clever choice for Soweto and for the brand. Kgasi has displayed the key qualities that make for a fine role model for girls of all ages in and around the community.  Miss Soweto plays a significant role in promoting positive change for those around her and on behalf of White Star we wish our new Miss Soweto every success during her reign”

White Star sponsored the main prizes, with Kgasi receiving the grand cash prize of R50 000 and a rare opportunity to represent White Star as brand ambassador, while her first and second princesses received R7000 and R3000, respectively. Other prizes were sponsored by Afro Nubian, who will make sure that Kgasi’s hairstyle is always trendy and all-around gorgeous during her reign. The evening wear was created by Urban Zulu, who had the girls looking like true beauty queens with a touch of African flair. Miss Soweto 2015, Buhle Xulu, MCs Refiloe Motsei and Thato Molamu were also dressed in Urban Zulu’s scintillating designs on the night. The Star newspaper, Pick ‘n Pay Maponya Mall and Nexdor Restaurant in Vilakazi Street, Soweto contributed to the prestige of the pageant as sponsors.