Indoni Miss Cultural South Africa 2017 finalists representing their respective cultures were announced at a jubilant ceremony in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, on 19 August. The event formed part of the Indoni Women’s Summit where inter-generational discussions were held on issues such as culture, its values, moral regeneration, and on growing young women leaders.
The young finalists, called princesses, were chosen by a panel of judges within their regions to represent their cultures, based on a variety of criteria that include Indoni Culture School exam results, their understanding of their cultures, living their cultural values, cultural performances, and their confidence and ability to be an effective ambassador for their culture in the forthcoming year.
Says Sibongile Nzimande, CEO of Indoni SA, “The Indoni Miss Cultural South Africa is not a true beauty pageant. It’s much more than that. It is founded on the premise of moral regeneration, which is desperately needed in this country. With the upsurge in crime and abuse against women, through our Indoni programmes and festivals, we hope to achieve a return to true African cultural values where the spirit of uBuntu and respect and caring for all people is prevalent.”The princesses and their chaperones include: Ndebele – Audrey Sikhosana and Benny Mahlangu; Swati – Snethemba Maphanga and Nkosinathi Mareleko; Tswana – Neziwe Mgolombana and Onkgopotse Monamo; Tsonga – Vuyelo Nghonyama and Vusey Simango; Pedi – Mologadi Bopape and Masilo Mothlopi; Venda – Ndulamiso Tshamulovha and Rofhiwa Nekhwevha; Khoi and San – Rone Katjorro and Stephanie Dala; Sotho – Noluthando Motaung and Ntja Motloung; and Zulu- Pretty Nzimande and Ayanda Mbele.
The young girls will go on to the Indoni Carnival in Durban on 7 October, which is followed by the Indoni Miss Cultural SA finals at Durban ICC in the evening, where the finalists will answer questions and perform before judges and an audience and the new 2017 queen and her princesses will be crowned.
Nzimande adds that the Indoni programmes are targeted at boys as much as at girls. “Our young men need to understand their uBuntu heritage, how to respect and treat their elders, women, and their peers, and to take pride in rejecting lives of crime and substance abuse.”
Nzimande congratulated the new princesses on becoming finalists and encouraged them to make the most of their opportunities to uphold and advocate for high moral standards within their communities, and to share their love and understanding of their cultural heritage with pride among their peers. “We wish every entrant good luck for the crowning ceremony on 7 October. Indoni is proud of you all.”
Founded by Dr Y.N. Mthembu, Indoni SA was officially launched in June 2011. The programme was formulated as a direct response to various social ills faced by young people on a day-to-day basis including lack of respect, lack of bankable skills to allow people entrance to sustainable jobs, HIV and AIDS prevalence among young people and the impact thereof on their lives, drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment, and teen pregnancies.
Indoni is a celebration of our culture and heritage, bringing together various cultures from across the country while showcasing their diversity and richness through various activities and functions. The rich tapestry of our culture and heritage is used as a tool for promoting tourism and economic activity through the hosting of various events and functions during the year, leading up to the Indoni Festival in Durban during Heritage Month and October.
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