Shudufhadzo Musida (24) says she feels honoured to become the first Miss South Africa who hails from Ha-Masia village, in Limpopo.

The Venda beauty was speaking on VOW FM’s Breaking Ground after her homecoming tour.

King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana organised the three-day tour. Musida says she felt privileged to have been welcomed by the king.

“I feel honoured for the king to feel that I have made the Limpopo people proud and better. I feel honoured to represent them and I know how it feels to be overlooked, so for me I am very honoured to be the one representing them, I understand where he is coming from and for them to feel represented is a huge thing,” says Musida.

Musida visited the Nsovo Special School, Fhulufhelo Special School and Takalani Children’s Home in her home district during the tour.

She says the tour was an amazing moment for the village to celebrate her.

“Homecoming tour was very amazing, it was very amazing to see a lot of people coming out in numbers to celebrate me as an individual and the winning and the crowning and people came out in thousands of numbers. I’ll be on the street and people would be screaming ‘our Shudu’ everywhere that I went.”

The newly crowned queen believes her parents played a huge role in ensuring that her dreams become a reality. She says her grandfather never limited the grandchildren from dreaming.

“He was just a loving, nurturing person, it was always a thing of knowing that you can dream as much as you want and he never limited us. He always encouraged us that we can dream as much as we want and can be whatever we put our minds too.”

She added: “My mom Thandi, moved the world for me, whatever dream that I had she was always there behind me, with full support all the time, she was always instrumental in making sure that I do my very best,”

Shudu, as Musida is affectionately known, says the children in Ha-Masia village were raised and taught to prioritise their education and their dreams to see them blossoming in reality.

“We were raised and encouraged to go to school and prioritise education because it is the tool to define and validate our dreams. So, they taught us that if you don’t get education you are going to stay in the village for the rest of your life and if you don’t get education that also limits your life prospect. So, from a young age I was taught that education is important and that is why I am who I am and we are still taught to prioritize education.”

 Her prime focus is to ensure that mental health is destigmatised.

“All of us interact with mental health on an everyday basis, but it is about choosing to do something about it, in my village when people are suffering from mental health they are labelled to be crazy and I believe that when you suffer from mental health it doesn’t mean that you need to be cast out from society, you just need medical help or someone to speak to.”

“I have been in conversation with SADAG and government to educate more about mental health awareness,” she says.

Musida encouraged students who are affected by mental health problems to seek help.

“Most students struggle with mental health, especially during exams and I encourage them to make use of places that offer help like school counselling.”

The Wits University student has been juggling Miss SA pageant duties and exams.

“I wasn’t sleeping, I would complete my miss SA duties during the day and at night I would study and make sure that I am ahead to be able to submit my assignments on time
 I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it unless if you feel that it is your time. For me, it was a very challenging experience because I wasn’t having enough sleep.”

As part of Miss SA prizes, Musida is receiving world-renowned coaching, advanced networking, business and life skills.