Although she grew up in Pretoria, Miss South Africa 2020 top 10 finalist, Lebogang Mahlangu, currently lives and works in Umhlanga. Which is why we’ve decided we are claiming this beautiful, ambitious food scientist and social entrepreneur as our own! We found out a little more about her.
Making it into the top ten of what is arguably the most prestigious beauty pageant in the country is not easy. But it was a challenge 24-year-old Lebogang says she always knew she was up for. Lebogang may not have walked away with the crown (the winner was announced at the final in Cape Town last month), but she did walk away with wonderful memories and learnt a lot about herself in the process.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
I am the second eldest child of four and have two younger siblings. I always try to lead by example and tend to always be the one encouraging my family and friends to follow their purpose.
What brought you to the North Coast?
I relocated to Umhlanga about two years ago for work. I am a Food Scientist by profession, working in research and development for a large mulitnational FMCG. My hope, ultimately, is to create healthy and affordable food products for all. I also own a community bakery in Soshanguve.
Was the Miss SA pageant something you always wanted to be a part of?
To me, the Miss SA pageant always represented an opportunity to make a change in the community and inspire other young women – and that was something I’ve always done, even when I was in primary school. I wanted to enter the pageant from the moment I understood what it stood for and I always believed I was the perfect candidate for the job.
What prompted you to finally take the plunge and enter?
I had been preparing myself mentally, emotionally, and physically for years and I finally felt like I was ready to handle all the pressure that came with it. I had also been out of varsity and into my new job for a little over a year and surviving that also convinced me that I really could do anything I set my mind to. I also felt, after being in a nine-to-five job, that I wanted to be more intentional about spending time giving back to my community and my personal development.
Tell us a bit about your Miss SA journey
The journey surpassed every expectation I had. The support I got from my community and social media is something I will never forget. I had to step outside of my comfort zone, yet I believe I was able to confidently proceed with every step of the competition because I was always true to myself and my purpose. With every challenge I made sure I showed up in excellence.
What would you say is the biggest lesson you learnt in this process?
My greatest take away was the fact that we all have a lot more influence than we realise. I got to see first-hand how something as small as a social media post can have a life-changing impact on people. It is important to share positive and authentic messages because you never know who is watching.
Details: Follow Lebogang on: @_lebogangmahlangu
Text: Leah Shone | Photos: Christiaan Mostert