Wits student makes it into semi-finals of Ms Tertiary SA

STUDENT Khayakazi Gqabe, 25, who is pursuing a Wits Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE),  recently made it to the semi-finals of the Ms Tertiary South Africa (MTSA) 2019 pageant.

Gqabe was initially discouraged from entering the pageant because she felt she did not meet the traditional requirements of beauty pageants.

“I am not your typical beauty pageant girl,” she said.

Once she had discovered all the details of the pageant, however, she felt she could try her luck. This was because, for her, the requirements of Ms Tertiary SA did not conform to the traditional rules of pageants because it was open to women aged from 18 to 35, single or married, and the pageant did not have a swimwear section.

Gqabe describes herself as shy and has in the past entered beauty pageants only because people around her encouraged her to enter due to her height. She entered Ms Tertiary SA 2019 because she felt she did not conform to typical standards of beauty and, given this, she wanted to “break stereotypes around beauty and bring in new energy and positive vibes”.

She told Wits Vuvuzela: “I know how it feels to be different, but I also know how it feels being confident while embracing your imperfections.”

Gqabe said she was grateful and honoured to be a Wits postgraduate student and it would be “very exciting for me to represent this institution at national level”.

When asked what she would do should she win the competition, Gqabe said she would make sure that her fees were paid and would invest in her future that which was left over. The semi-finalist described education as important for the country and said it was “very exciting for me to see beauty pageants also stepping in trying to help”.

According to the MTSA website, the pageant aims “to bridge the financial struggles of students in tertiary institutions”. Prizes on offer include scholarships and cash prizes. The winner takes home prizes worth R250 000, while the first princess wins R15 000 in cash and a R30 000 scholarship. The second princess gets R10 000 and a R25 000 scholarship.

Gqabe is holding her breath now for the next step in the contest. On April 15 the Top 12 will be announced and she is hoping to be one of them.

FEATURED IMAGE: Khayakazi Gqabe breaks down stereotypes of beauty. Photo: Provided


Wits Vuvuzela: Education student is Miss Wits Varsity Cup March 2019