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Former Miss Universe and Miss South Africa title holder Zozibini Tunzi makes her television series debut as the host of the very first Miss South Africa television show, Crown Chasers, which starts on SABC3 on Saturday, July 8, at 16h00.

In the 5 x 60-minute series the Miss South Africa finalists areplaced in real life scenarios that include challenges based on the four pillars of Miss South Africa – duty, championship, empowerment and beauty. A challenge winner will be chosen each week by a judging panel comprising of BonangMatheba and Leandie du Randt as well as a weekly celebrity guest judge.

In addition, at the end of each thrilling episode, the judges will vote off one of the contestants, with the seven remaining finalistsgoing through to participate in the live grand finale on August 13.

Speaking of her role in the series, ZozibiniTunzi, who made her big screen debut in last year’s The Woman King, says: “Hosting a TV series for the first time has been a beautiful experience. It came as second nature to me because the show is about a world with which I am very familiar. What made it even more fulfilling was being a part of helping build it from the start, and every step of the way, from an executive producing perspective.

“I think that everyone should watch Crown Chasers because I imagine that every year people wonder what the process of choosing a Miss South Africa is like and now they will finally have a full picture.

“What’s also special about this show is that South Africa gets to fall inlove with these women and watch them grow in their journey towards the crown. When your favourite contestant becomes Miss South Africa, it will feel as though you have walked with them every step of the way and learnt what kind of woman they are. There’s just something so beautiful about feeling included and being a part of your new Miss South Africa’s journey.”

And Tunzi’s advice to the finalists? “To be sure of themselves. They are all finalists because they worked hard and they deserve to be there. I want them to know that every event and situation that has ever happened in their lives has prepared them for this moment. The answer to being Miss South Africa is not rocket science and is not found in any books. They have every answer they need within themselves, so all they must do is just show up in their truest form.”

Bonang Matheba, who has had an exceptional career in radio and television and amassed a huge fan base at home and abroad,says she is looking for someone“who’ll play a great ambassadorial role; who is passionate about her CSI projects; someone who is an advocate for social justice and someone who will play a role in terms of being a spokesperson for the youth of our country”.

“I am looking for a young modern woman that South Africans can aspire to be like, somebody that they see a little bit of themselves in; someone that is relatable, proudly South African and someonewho caries herself with dignity, grace and elegance. Obviously she has to be beautiful but she must also have a wonderful and zesty personality. Somebody that gravitates towards people and who people gravitate towards – that X-factor!

“I believe the woman who ultimately wins was born to be Miss South Africa and has the essence of a Miss South Africa. It’s our responsibility to identify her.”

Of the TV series Crown Chasers, Matheba says: “The serieswill give us a greater opportunity to get to know the girls because they get taken through all these challenges and youwill really experience a 360 degree view of their personality, how they are in tough times, how they handle exterior factors that might influence them, good or bad, how they interact with other people, how they look on camera, how they interact in social settings, around other women and around competition and how they handle themselves. By the time we crown the winner, we will know her very well, what makes her tick when she is on and off camera and what kind of woman she is deep down.”

Mathebapredicts that Crown Chasers is going to be a wonderful show:“It has a whole new, fresh perspective when it comes to pageantry and it’s the first of its kind.I love to be part of things that arenew and that challenge the status quo. The world is changing, pageantry is changing,the woman who are participating are changing and the rules have changed. Crown Chasers is going to be a wonderful empowerment programme for young women and I hope they tune in and watch it and find inspiration every week.”

Actress, presenter, voice artist, model, author and entrepreneur,Leandiedu Randtunderstands the pressure of reality television on the contestants, having hosted Love Island South Africa, and says: “Audiences will love the realness and all the behind the scenes activities of Crown Chasers. The show will also help them to get to know the finalists on a deeper level and understand and respect what they have to go through in order to win the crown.”

As a judge, what is Du Randt looking for in a winner? “I am looking for the woman that has that Miss South Africa feel to her when she walks into the room; someone who must be able to be the best version of herself at all times, and someone who is memorable, has a presence and a purpose in her heart to serve and lead the country in being the best it can be.”

The Miss South Africa pageant takes place at Sun International’s flagship venue, the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria on Sunday, August 13.

Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International.

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