Dallmayr Mrs South Africa 2022 Palesa Matjekane set off on her Mrs World journey over the weekend, heading to Las Vegas in Nevada, America for a week of pageantry leading up to the preliminary on Friday, 19 January, and the crowning ceremony on Sunday, 21 January.

Upon arriving at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino on Saturday, 13 January, Matjekane joined 38 other contestants from across the globe for a class photoshoot, as well as multiple other shoots throughout the day, followed by an orientation dinner where she donned a stunning African-inspired gown by famed designer Gerrit Pienaar.

“South Africa is known as the rainbow nation. Our blending of diverse cultures and traditions results in a colourful society filled with love and understanding – things I wanted to emulate in my traditional dress. Each contestant also brought along a gift straight from their home country to give to the other contestants. I decided on traditional jewellery,” she said.

“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. 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.”

Throughout the rest of the week, Matjekane will also join a cocktail dinner at the prestigious Elvis Suite; the Dignitary Siegel’s dinner where she will present another South African-themed gift to dignitaries David and Jackie Siegel; an interview session with the five judges; and, finally, the preliminaries followed by the grand finale.

She 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.

“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, I’m most looking forward to carrying the pride of our people, and showcasing the resilience and beauty that define our diverse and vibrant culture.”

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.

Dallmayr Mrs South Africa CEO Joani Johnson says, “I truly believe Palesa has everything it takes to make our country proud and bring home the crown. 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.”

Palesa is being dressed by prominent South African designers Werner Dey, Gerrit Pienaar, Dr B (aka Bolaji Adeoti), and Loka Boutique.

Mrs South Africa 2024 is made possible by the following sponsors: Dallmayr Coffee Brentoni Eyewear, BTL Aesthetics, Caribbean Tan, Chery Krugersdorp, Collagen Lift Paris, Hirsch’s Homestore, Kryolan Professional Makeup, Lashout, Maskscara, iME, MSC Cruises, PKF Octagon, PR Worx, Slimz, Truewood Furniture, Urbantrend, Whirlpool, and Wild Africa Cream.