“I will be representing the whole continent in South Korea…”
Fikile Mdniso dominated the stage in Menlyn Barnyard on September 24 as she was crowned Mrs Universe Africa. She says: “It was a blessing winning and I believe that God led my hand”. Mdiniso now prepares to represent Africa in Seoul, South Korea in February 2022.
“I will be representing the whole continent in South Korea and there will be about 100 participants at Mrs Universe”, she says. Mdiniso is honored to be entrusted with the task and is excited to represent Africa on a global stage. “I’m so grateful to my friend who called me and told me about the pageant competition by Bokang (former Miss South Africa). I was so eager to enter; I immediately started following Bokang on all social media platforms to ensure I get all the information regarding the competition. My friend told me not to miss this opportunity because I fitted all the specifications they were looking for”.
A young girl that walked the streets of Soweto while growing up could only wish and dream of winning a competition of this magnitude. Modeling and pageantry was a childhood dream she could not pursue due to the extra attention she had to pay towards her education. Fikile’s parents believed in order to have a great future she should focus on her education. “My parents instilled the value of education in us”, adds Fikile.
She went on to study at university and obtained a qualification in Data Engineering, and as outstanding as she is, she passed Cum Laude. Mrs Universe Africa’s parents’ strongly rooted values are still evident in Fikile’s life as she furthers her studies towards an MBA. She says: “I’m a resilient person and will soldier on because pageantry found me studying but it will not interfere with my role as the queen”.
At 31 years of age, Mdiniso finally gets to pursue a childhood dream that was once pushed into a corner. “I went from high school to university and got married immediately after the completion of my qualification”. She was needed more at home as she had her first child at 23 years and second at 24 years. She explains: “contestants can be married, divorced or widowed. Even though her reign finds her in the process of divorce she says “I believe it’s my time”.
There were 70 semi-finalists and 20 finalists. “The ladies were all deserving to win and I always emphasize that. The women were beautiful, intelligent, amazing and good hearted”. The pageant stands for values of beauty with purpose. Therefore whoever that is crowned as the winner needs to empower communities. “I’m advocating for women empowerment. I see a gap in society concerning women and they account for the majority of the population”.
The beauty queen is also a director of an NGO called Open Eyes Girls. The NGO stands for empowering young girls and women to unlock and reach their fullest potential through academia and entrepreneurship in order to build women to also empower their families. With her already existing foundation, it is fitting she advocates for women empowerment during her reign.
Mrs Universe Africa says whenever she gets the opportunity to take her two children to events with her she grabs it because she wants to share this amazing experience with them. “My children look at me with so much amazement while they try grasping my sudden busy schedule. I’m pretty sure years from now when I’m old they will still remind me of this gob smacking moment in my life”. Fikile further elaborates that with her busy schedule she often needs to share her calendar with close family and friends in her defense of her unavailability.
“Mrs Universe Africa is the first pageant I have ever entered” Fikile adds. The pageant is in its early stages as it was launched this year. “I’m pleased to be the first queen. For anyone wishing to enter, entries have been open for 2022. Competition information can be found on social media – IG: @MrsUniverseAfrica and applicants should be between the ages 20-50.
Fikile Mdiniso’s last words are: “don’t let your circumstances define you. If you can dream it, anything is possible. Remember your dreams are valid”.
By Sandra Lesenyeho