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Beauty With Brains by Stiletto Magazine
November 14, 2009, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Real Life | Tags: , , ,

Beauty With Brains


“Beauty without brains,” was, even in the recent past, a phrase commonly used and accepted as truth. Not the case nowadays. The world at large has come to realize that the contestants and winners of beauty pageants are a force to be reckoned with. The following ladies can be considered living proof that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive qualities.

Basetsana Kumalo

Miss SA 1994: Basetsana "Bassie" Kumalo

Basetsana Kumalo

Born Basetsana Makgalemele, this beauty queen popularly known as ‘Bassie’ hails from Soweto where, in 1990, she was awarded the titles of Miss Soweto and Miss Black South Africa. Following those titles was the Miss SA title in 1994 as well as that of the First Princess to the Miss World pageant that same year.

During her reign, she was elected as one of the presenters of the lifestyle show, Top Billing. She went on to form a partnership with its producer and Tswelelopele Productions was born. Over the years, it has produced Top Billing, Pasella and Seskhona.

In 1997 she started dating her now husband Romeo Kumalo and the two tied the knot in 2000. They have since opened the Romeo & Basetsana Kumalo Family Foundation which aims to help with the development of children, particularly orphans as a result of AIDS and AIDS-related diseases.

Currently, Bassie occupies the seat of President of the Business Women’s Association of South Africa and is a member of the boards of Tactic Investment Holding, Seven Falls, Unipalm Investment Holdings, Vhangana Energy Resources, Morongwa Investment Holdings, PHAB Holdings and Q2 Petroleum. She also served as the Director of Gauteng Travel Academy in 2001.

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Nonhlanhla Peggy-Sue Kumalo

Miss South Africa 1996, Nonhlanhla Peggy-Sue Kumalo

Nonhlanhla Peggy-Sue Kumalo, miss South Africa 1996

When she became Miss SA at the age of 21 Nonhlanhla cited the financial struggle her mother was in as motivation to do her best, thus winning the title. Her awards included not only her crown and presents, but also an opportunity that changed her life: a phone call from, then President, Nelson Mandela, securing a sponsorship for her to go to Manchester to get her tertiary education. She graduated in 2004 with an MSC degree in Economics.

She is already involved in a number of charitable works, including setting up a scholarship to help young women through university, as well as the Starfish organisation which helps HIV/AIDS orphans.

She is currently living in London where she works at an investment bank, but is planning on coming back to South Africa very soon.

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Kerishnie Naiker

Miss SA 1997: Kerishnie Naiker

Kerishnie Naiker: crowned miss SA in 1997

This KwaZulu-Natal beauty queen was studying towards her Masters in Pharmacy Practice when she became Miss SA 1997. It was her intention to bring to the public eye the large society of the Indian population that makes up a significant portion in the South African population as a whole.

As a result of Apartheid, the women crowned Miss SA prior to Naiker did not participate in the Miss Universe pageant, but upon her reign she chose to do, it thereby setting a platform for her successors.

In 1998, she worked for the SABC and continued over the years to present magazine and lifestyle television programmes such as “Eastern Mosaic.” She graced Los Angeles with her presence when she covered the Grammy Awards in 2001 on behalf of the American television station, BET.

Over the years, Naiker has held a lot of positions in terms of employment, including being a consultant for Reckitt Benckiser and Daimler Chrysler SA, a Master of Ceremony and speaker for companies like British Petroleum, Microsoft, and SA Breweries to name but few.

The focal point of the Kerishnie Naiker Welfare Initiative (KNWI) is human and social development which has led to her working closely with former President, Nelson Mandela.

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6 Comments so far
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Comment by Sarah mtshali

what a beautiful piece…
its good to see drop-dead gorgeous women that are more than just a face and a pair of legs…go girls!!!!

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