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The Miss South Africa Pageant Welcomes Its First Trans Contestant

Lehlogonolo Machaba has made history as the first trans woman to compete in the Miss South Africa beauty pageant.

The 24-year-old from the province of North West was recently selected as one of 30 finalists who will compete for the crown. The pageant has allowed transgender women to apply since 2019, but Machaba is the first to make it to this stage of the competition.

Machaba announced the news on her Instagram: “I am proud to announce that I have OFFICIALLY made it to the #Top30 of #MissSA2021 thanks to all of you. This journey has been nothing but a great one and all of you have made this worthwhile. 

“I will continue to push for change and acceptance of everyone in the LGBTQI+ community and being the first EVER TransWoman in the competition I can declare that by the grace of God TOP 15 here we come.”

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A post shared by Lehlogonolo Machaba (@lehlogonolo.machaba)

In another Instagram post, Machaba also shared her motivation for entering the pageant in the first place.

“It has always been a dream of mine to represent my community at such a high level. The daily murders of queer and trans-identifying people in our country and world is devastating. Through the Miss South Africa platform, I’d be able to advocate for the LGBTQIA community and, more specifically, queer-identifying women. 

“I would use this opportunity to empower every marginalised person and become a beacon of hope for young girls out there regardless of whatever they think hinders them from attaining whatever goal they have. With patience, perseverance and hard work, they can attain anything they put their minds to.”

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A post shared by Lehlogonolo Machaba (@lehlogonolo.machaba)

Lehlogonolo, we’re rooting for you, and we can’t wait to see you grace the pageant stage.

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