WITH a passion for people, planet and health, it is no surprise that Nozipho Magagula was recently announced as the 2016 Miss Earth South Africa at a gala dinner at Montecasino, that honoured the finalists and ambassadors for the environmental and community work done over this year. Announced as the 2016 ambassador, she will go on to represent South Africa at the international Miss Earth competition next month in the Philippines as the focus turns to eco tourism. The gala evening was attended by Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom who has been an avid supporter of the community work done by this leadership programme.
Ella Bella Constantinides Leite, director of the programme, said: “It’s rewarding to see the growth and influence of the Miss Earth South Africa programme, over a period of more than 12 years. We aim to continue to empower young women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference in our plight to combat the destruction of our natural heritage.”
It has been an intense few months for the finalists who have been hard at work, with a mission to change the perception and understanding of waste through the 2016 campaign #WasteStopsWithME which was launched earlier this year with partners Pikitup and the City of Johannesburg.
The group of winners is a power packed team including first runner-up Jeanine Keet, who is a draughtsman in Johannesburg and comes from Newclare, second runner-up is Bloemfontein’s Elne Coller who is doing her final year in occupational therapy, and third runner-up is civil engineer Mireesha Narsai of Kloof in KZN. Mireesha is currently completing her masters degree in biofluid mechanics. These four winners are joined by their official ambassadors for the year, Mandisa Mqolombeni, Hasesha Naidu and Annie Kirsten.
Executive director of Miss Earth South Africa, Catherine Constantinides, said: “Climate change will be the biggest challenge we face in our lifetimes, and it’s up to us to realise that we will be the catalysts for change that will push our countries towards a greener tomorrow. Planting a tree might seem like a simple act, but in effect it’s about being part of a global movement to secure a future for the generations to come.”
Lesego Seloane was the finalist from the South. “Regrettably she did not make it into the top six, but she has done amazing work and I’m sure she will continue with her greening work in the area,” added Ella Bella.
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