Miss Earth SA 2021: Naughty, but nice – and dreaming big

Miss Earth SA 2021: Naughty, but nice – and dreaming big

2021-10-16 07:00:00 AM

Miss Earth SA 2021: Naughty, but nice – and dreaming big

I want to be remembered as the one who made a difference out there.

It’s one thing to say climate change is happening or unemployment is increasing, I want action.” Big words from Nompumelelo Maduna, Miss Earth SA 2021 – and you somehow believe the 26 year old will achieve exactly that if you look at her track record. Raised in Rockville, Soweto, by a family of strong women after her father’s death, she not only advocates women empowerment with a passion, but has made “boss moves” with her Maduna Foundation, to help young people who want careers that do...

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It’s one thing to say climate change is happening or unemployment is increasing, I want action.”Big words from Nompumelelo Maduna, Miss Earth SA 2021 – and you somehow believe the 26 year old will achieve exactly that if you look at her track record.Raised in Rockville, Soweto, by a family of strong women after her father’s death, she not only advocates women empowerment with a passion, but has made “boss moves” with her Maduna Foundation, to help young people who want careers that do not start at university.

Newly crowned Miss Earth, Nompumelelo Maduna celebrates Spring Day during an event at the Thaba Eco Hotel in the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, 1 September 2021. Picture: Neil McCartneyAnd, of course, there’s the environment she cares about deeply.Her burning passion is to educate people about climate change and nurturing plants. headtopics.com

“I have really resonated with the Miss Earth organisation. Two things that have always stood out for me about the organisation were leadership and women empowerment.”But Maduna is more than just a pageant title-holder: she is funny, ambitious, humble and an example of how much things have changed for women.

“But I was a naughty child, who was always in trouble,” she laughs.“One time I came home from school with my jersey torn in half and only one school shoe.“I told my grandmother that my friend was bullied because of her torn shoe and I wanted people to laugh at us and not her.

“So even though the intentions were great, I got a hiding because I ruined my jersey.”Her mother, Nomthandazo, remembers her as a child who always loved modelling – and putting on her mom’s make-up and clothes.“She has always loved being beautiful. I remember when she was four, I went with her to a mall where they had a modelling branch.

“She saw someone modelling inside the shop and jumped on stage and started posing without even asking.”Although Maduna always knew she wanted to model, she also wanted to be a gynaecologist or biochemist.However, she eventually settled for a marketing degree at the University of Johannesburg. She first entered Miss headtopics.com

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Earth SA in 2016, when she crowned Miss Air.From left: first runner-up Nompumelelo Maduna, Miss Earth SA Nazia Wadee, second runner-up Pinky Mokwena and third runner-up Charlotte Joja. Picture: Instagram“Initially, I just wanted to get more involved in community service, but when I found out about Miss Earth and what it stands for, it seemed things had fallen into place.”

It’s a challenge she is not scared of, “but my biggest fear is skydiving, but I really want to do it.“That is the moment where I’ll feel a sense of total freedom,” Maduna says.She is family orientated and loves cooking and playing the saxophone, both skills she learnt during the recent Covid

lockdowns.Brother Sihle describes her as ambitious; a leader promoting anything that drives positivity; in short, “she lights up the room with her personality and smile”, he says.“She’s always been a person who is big on passion and making sure that she and everyone around her succeeds.”

One of his fondest memories about his sister is from childhood.“She was very adamant about achieving things with her friend and didn’t understand the consequences of her actions.“The time she came home with one shoe, my grandmother had mixed emotions as she was both proud and angry. headtopics.com

“That’s when we realised that she was a very passionate and compassionate person,” he remembers.Maduna says she has many role models, including the Miss Earth organisation family, her mother, grandmother, sister-inlaw Mbali and aunt Cindy, who taught her about contributing to the society.

They all imparted their strength to her.“I’m surrounded by quite a lot of strong women who have imparted their strength and knowledge unto me, but alsotaught me that it is okay to be vulnerable.”Newly crowned Miss Earth, Nompumelelo Maduna celebrates Spring Day during an event at the Thaba Eco Hotel in the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, 1 September 2021. Picture: Neil McCartney

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Her favourite book – which she keeps in her bag, is Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg.“They talk about women always fighting for leadership roles everywhere.“I love how they say women always have to prove with their accolades, while men are always in the position of trusting that they are capable of doing anything and that was quite empowering,” says Maduna.

That’s not her only love.“I also love my ava straws, because plastic straws are bad for the environment and you can only use it once.“And then there’s my pen. I know it’s a geo pen, but apart from using it on my phone, I love using it to jot down things that I need to remember.”

Some of her favourite things to do since the lockdowns started are yoga and – don’t forget – cooking.Or coffee, cappuccino and reading – when she’s not having lunch with her inner circle of friends and family. Read more: The Citizen News »

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