When Miss South Africa 2023 is crowned on Sunday she will wear a brand new coronet dubbed Mowana, the “Tree of Life”.
As the new title holder takes in the enormity of the moment in which she becomes a South African ambassador and role model to young people everywhere, she will be carrying the weight of our heritage and of one of the most recognisable symbols of our country – a tree that signifies life.
Mowana is the brainchild of Ursula Pule, creative director and co-founder of Nungu Diamonds, the proud sponsor of the new Miss South Africa crown. Pule, who has spent several years harnessing her skills in jewellery design, has created memorable pieces for celebrities such as Somizi Mhlongo, Connie Ferguson and Dineo Langa.
She says: “My inspiration came from a safari we took in Musina in 2019; from the magnificent baobab tree, also known as the Tree of Life. As you drive into Limpopo, you see these exquisite trees – unlike any other trees – that represent our African heritage.
“The next morning, on a game drive, I saw the sun rising behind a baobab and was mesmerised. That was my inspiration and I have carried that vision with me all these years. When it was time to design the crown, I thought that there was nothing better to represent our country and our company Nungu Diamonds.”
The baobab is revered just as women, who are cherished as sources of life and positivity, are. Both are symbols of strength and resilience. Pule also used the African sunrise as a metaphor to symbolise the rise of Miss South Africa at the start of her reign, signifying the beginning of her new life as our queen.
The design is minimalist and simple to allow the precious stones to speak for themselves.
“Mowana is the first crown of its kind in South Africa and is made up of over 800 stones comprising diamonds, gemstones and cubic zirconia, the biggest weighing 15 carats,” says Kealeboga Pule, CEO and founder of Nungu Diamonds.
“As Nungu Diamonds we were honoured to introduce the 2023 Miss South Africa Crown, inspired by the rich heritage of South Africa, at the official crown launch in Pretoria.”
Nungu Diamonds, in partnership with the Miss South Africa Organisation, is the exclusive crown and jewellery sponsor for the Miss South Africa pageant for the next three years.
Miss South Africa 2023 will take home prizes and sponsorships worth more than R3 million.
The Top 7 competing for the crown are Anke Rothmann (23) from the Northern Cape; Bryoni Govender (26) from Gauteng; Homba Mazaleni (23) from the Eastern Cape; Jordan van der Vyver (27), from the Western Cape; Melissa Nayimuli (27) from the Eastern Cape; Nande Mabala (25), from the Western Cape and Natasha Joubert (25) from Gauteng.
The Miss South Africa pageant, which takes place on Sunday at Sun International’s flagship venue, the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria, promises to be a spectacular and entertainment-packed show. Miss South Africa 2023 will be broadcast live on SABC 3 from 18h30 and streamed live for an international audience on the Miss South Africa app. Bookings to attend the live pageant are open at Ticketpro.
Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International. SABC3 is the official broadcast partner.