Dallmayr Mrs South Africa 2022 Palesa Matjekane has arrived in the US ahead of the prestigious Mrs World journey pageant in Las Vegas this weekend.
The businesswoman and mother of two, who arrived in America over the weekend, is set to spend the week fulfilling pageantry duties ahead of the official crowning ceremony on Sunday.
She joined 38 other contestants from across the globe at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino on Saturday.
The group have since conducted several photo shoots, and Matjekane attended an orientation dinner where she donned a African-inspired gown by famed designer Gerrit Pienaar.
She is thrilled to be part of the Mrs World proceedings and festivities, and is looking forward to representing her nation at this weekend’s main event.
“South Africa is known as the rainbow nation and our blending of diverse cultures and traditions results in a colourful society filled with love and understanding,” she said.
Matjekane added that these were all things that she wanted to emulate in her traditional dress.
And as each contestant also brought along a gift straight from their home country to give to the other contestants, she decided on traditional jewellery.
“Growing up in the dusty township of Sebokeng, I’ve always been a firm believer that one should sow back into the community whenever possible,” Matjekane said.
“So, I had some women who sell handmade traditional jewellery on the street make African earrings, which I then finished with recycled denim from my denim clothing line, Maison Lisa.”
Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the week, Matjekane will also join a cocktail dinner at the prestigious Elvis Suite.
This Dignitary Siegel’s dinner will see her present another South African-themed gift to dignitaries David and Jackie Siegel.
Matjekane will also go through a rigorous interview session with the five judges, as well as the preliminaries followed by the grand finale.
She now plans on following in the deep footsteps left by Candice Abrahams, who won Mrs World in 2016 – the same year she was crowned Mrs South Africa.
“Candice has been one of my greatest inspirations. I look to her example and the invaluable advice from other former Mrs SA queens and the Mrs SA managing team as I take on these eight exhilarating days,” Matjekane said.
“The road so far has been truly transformative, empowering me to embody grace, strength, and the spirit of my nation – principles I hoped to emanate on stage during the pageant.”
Approaching the finale, she added that what she is looking forward to the most is “carrying the pride of our people, and showcasing the resilience and beauty that define our diverse and vibrant culture”.
Meanwhile, as the licence holder for South Africa, Mrs World hopefuls will first have to acquire the Dallmayr Mrs South Africa title before heading off to the world stage.
Due to a backlog caused by the 2020 pandemic, winners now only compete a year after their reign.
As such, the current Mrs South Africa titleholder, Tshego Gaelae, will be eligible to compete in 2025.
“I truly believe Palesa has everything it takes to make our country proud and bring home the crown,” Dallmayr Mrs South Africa CEO Joani Johnson said.
“She is an incredibly strong contender for this year’s Mrs World title, and the pageant would be fortunate to have her representation over the next year.”
“I look forward to seeing her shine and showing the world what the strong, powerful, bona fide women of Mrs South Africa are capable of,” Johnson added.