Alfonso Nqunjana is a student journalist for Wits Vuvuzela and he captured the Miss Gauteng 2021 auditions at City Lodge Hotel in Newton on May 31, 2021.  

After a year of running online auditions due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Miss Gauteng Exclusive Foundation held its first round of physical auditions, in search of the new Miss Gauteng Exclusive 2022.

The judging panel for the Miss Gauteng Exclusive have a short discussion about a contestant. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

The Miss Gauteng Exclusive is a Foundation founded by a group of young African social entrepreneurs. The foundation focuses on the holistic building of women’s characters. It accepts young women from 18 to 27 years of age and contestants need to pay a R200 fee to audition to enter.  

A back shot of Naledi Etsane, a Wits law student interviewing one of the contestants. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

During the auditions, most of the contestants were visibly nervous when on stage. The co-founder and CEO of Miss Gauteng Exclusive, Kagiso Selele explained the audition process as “wanting young women of Gauteng communities to model our Queens because of what they do in our society, not how they look. 

Contestants pose with the previous winners of the Miss Gauteng 2021. Naledi Etsane 1st princess (left), Ashley Mvunguse Miss Gauteng Exclusive (middle) and Bonolo Mabena 2nd princess (right). Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

Ashley Mvunguse, the reigning Miss Gauteng Exclusive 2021, is also a student at Wits University doing her 2nd year in Bachelor of Education. It was Mvunguse’s first time judging the auditions, “I have noticed from the ladies auditioning that some struggle to show authenticity,” she told Wits Vuvuzela. 

One of the contestants taking a selfie with Miss Gauteng exclusive outside. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

The audition process is an exploration of the individuals and what they have done in their communities, “I think the contestants tend to forget that they are auditioning to be the next Queen,” Ashley added. 

One of the contestants during the interview phase, her nerves written all over her face. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

“The questions are constructed in a way that helps us to get to know and understand the entrant on a deeper level,” said Annwen Jordan, co-founder and manager of the Miss Gauteng Exclusive 

Contestants are seen sitting in another room while they wait to be called on while also adhering to covid-19 protocols. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana

The foundation has been running since 201and apart from being crowned, finalists will also get access to mentorship, leadership and entrepreneurial programmes that empower them to be women who are role models and future ambassadors of South Africa. 

Annwen Jordan, who is the co-founder of the foundation. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana      

FEATURED IMAGE: Picture of a sash, mask, crown and a judge’s mark book. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana