Miss SA Top 30 contestant Lalela Mswane would like to use the platform offered by the competition to help tackle unemployment in South Africa. The 24-year-old model and dancer, who is also a law graduate from the University of Pretoria, says she would like to meet Thulas Nxesi, the minister of employment and labour, to discuss the scourge. “I believe that my advocacy against the abatement of unemployment in our nation is one which requires dire attention and having the full support of the Miss South Africa Organisation would provide greater impact in the quest for meaningful and long-lasting solutions,” says Mswane, who hails from KwaSokhulu in Richards Bay, Kwa Zulu Natal.
Mswane was this week announced as one of four finalists from Kwa-Zulu Natal for the competition’s Top 30. “It is with great elation that I announce that I made it to the Miss South Africa 2021 TOP 30!” she said on Instagram of the accomplishment “I’m so very thankful, incredibly grateful and unbelievably blessed.”
To mark this milestone, Mswane will spend part of Nelson Mandela Day this Sunday at Mohau Care Centre in Atteridgeville, outside Tshwane, where she will donate 50 blankets and other essentials. The centre looks after 45 children. Mswane said she heard about the centre from a cousin and contacted them to establish their needs. She has had limited contact with the centre due to COVID 19 restrictions, which will also curtail Sunday’s visit to a brief stop.
Mswane, who says that she would like to have the power to teleport in order to be able to visit different places, says while the COVID 19 pandemic has been traumatic, it has also brought out the best in people. “The unity, compassion and empathy that people have displayed is beautiful,” she says. “My hope in humanity was restored as I witnessed and continue to witness the kindness and grace people are extending to each other. Where one lacks, another provides. While the pandemic has taken so much from us, we choose to lead with love and goodwill.”
On her plans to tackle unemployment, Mswane plans to start a campaign called #BeReady, which is aimed at preparing young people who have completed matric to have skills that can generate an income or enable them to be self-employed. “I feel there’s a need for the development of practical skills at schools, particularly secondary education as not everyone makes it to tertiary education but people often feel that’s the only way through which employment prospects can be achieved, “ she says of the prospects faced by young people when leaving school.
She notes that while tertiary education is both necessary and desirable and can open doors, the reality is that not everyone can obtain it, certainly not straight after matric. Her campaign is aimed at learners in Grades 10 to 12 to be equipped with skills ranging from agriculture, arts and technical trade that they can use straight after school. These are some of the initiatives she would like to put to Nxesi.
Mswane started ballet at the age of nine and at high school, she took up jazz and Spanish dancing before majoring in ballet for matric. Dance has given her posture and discipline she carries into other areas of her life. She obtained her conveyancing qualification through the South African College of Law in May.
Mswane is the last born in a family of three and describes her mother, Hleliselwe, a former accountant’s clerk, as her role model alongside iconic late actress Audrey Hepburn, whom she admires for her beauty, class and philanthropy.
Lalela Mswane voting number: 17, #MissSA2021Top30 #lalelaforMissSA, Voting closes at midnight on Wednesday July 21.