Durban - The top 10 finalists in the Miss South Africa contest have been on a journey to learn about the origins of humankind, during their last group function ahead of the pageant finale.
They also learnt more about their past under the guidance of the leading South African scientist, Dr Keneiloe Molopyane.
Molopyane, known as South Africa’s underground astronomer is the principal investigator at the Gladysvale fossil excavation site, and the first woman of colour to head a dig in the Malapa Motsetse Nature Reserve situated in the Greater Cradle of Humankind.
This was the last official function undertaken by the Top 10 who now leave to return home ahead of the pageant finale in August.
Molopyane introduced the finalists to their ancient human ancestors unearthed on the reserve and now housed in the Malapa Museum adjoining the Cradle Boutique Hotel.
The unique museum which was built in partnership with palaeoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger’s Foundation, National Geographic and the Malapa Motsetse Foundation, houses fossils that tell the story of the origins of man.
“I am fortunate to be able to work within this fossil-rich reserve. It’s been fun to share my excitement with the women who will become South Africa’s ambassadors, taking part in the story of human origins with them and raising critical interest in our globally shared heritage,” said Molopyane.
Cradle Boutique Hotel chief executive Kobus Botha said it was an honour to be able to share the history of this country with the finalists.
“As the custodians of this precious land, we are always excited to share the story of the origins of humankind and the discoveries made here,” said Botha.
The Shaka Zulu movie, featuring South Africa’s top actors and actresses, and set to come out next year is being filmed on the property. King Misuzulu has also visited the site.
The Top 10 were taken on a game drive taking in the Shaka Zulu set as well seeing the wildlife, the rare flora, the unique trees and appearing and disappearing streams. They also got to witness the aquaponics farm and were taught abou the sustainable methods that are used to ensure everything on the property meets strict ‘green’ codes.
Miss South Africa Organisation chief executive Stephanie Weil also appreciated the experience.
“It was a privilege for us all to be able to learn about where we come from. This reserve is remarkable in that you are in the bush and yet just 45 minutes away from Africa’s financial hub, Sandton!” Weil said.
The 2022 winner is set to be crowned at the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria on August 13 which is fitting as it is women’s month.