Port Elizabeth- The Nelson Mandela University (NMU) hosted its annual Mr and Miss Freshette beauty pageant. The audience came out in numbers to see celebrities and celebrate with the new first year ambassadors.
It was all glitz and glam at the Indoor Sports Center at NMU South Campus last week, where the university held its first year pageant. Hundreds of scholars, parents and supporters filled up the center, looking lavish in their themed outfits of ‘Wakanda’. The show was hosted by the beautiful and talented actress Phindile Gwala, known to most as Nonny from Muvhango.
The dance group ‘Baseline’ opened the show with a very emotional performance, that gradually moved on to being very lively and energetic. When Justin, the leader of the group spoke to Madibaz Radio, he explained how nerve wrecking it was waiting backstage, but all of those nerves disappeared when they stepped out onto the stage. “The crowd always exceeds our expectations and this time they were screaming throughout the entire performance, which really boosted our confidence. We really look forward to performing at NMU again, just to hear the crowd scream that loudly”.
We then spoke to Tahle Mbambaza, Miss Freshette 2017, just to ask her how her experience was as the first year ambassador the previous year, her face lit up immediately as soon as she spoke about her year of reign. She described her experience as a very exciting one, filled with a lot of learning curves and meeting very influential people. She stated that NMU opened a lot of doors for her and helped her gain a lot of confidence. Since the year she had won, was her first pageant, she was grateful for being given a chance and the benefit-of-the-doubt that she was worthy of such a title. The advice she gave Miss Freshette 2018 was: “Don’t lose track of yourself, and do not follow the wave; but create your own.”
The Master of Ceremonies, Phindile was also very excited to be at NMU and explained that it was her first time. She was very humbled by the crowd’s response and, in her own words, “felt like she was in Hollywood”. She fed off the crowd’s energy and thus became extremely energetic herself. As for her and her career, she told Madibaz Radio that she will stop acting on screen and pursue her dream of being in theater. She also told us that her and her husband are in the process of opening a production company, which is where most of her energy will be put in. Phindile would gladly come back to NMU if given the chance.
The contestants looked absolutely breadth-taking and walked with pride and confidence. It was really difficult trying to guess who would take the title because they all had equal strengths. There was no obvious choice, because each contestant could’ve taken it.
Things were done a bit differently this time round because there was no top ten, instead a top thirteen, with six girls and seven guys.
The crowd went absolutely crazy when personal favorite Jason Jacobs would walk on the ramp. He had the biggest following, which was no surprise when he won Mr Personality and Mr Viewers Choice.
The winners of the ultimate prize were Sino Kwanini and Baphi Mabenge. When we interviewed them both, they shared she same amount of shock and gratitude. Since these titles are very big and come with a lot of responsibilities, they are both ready to represent the first years with pride. They mentioned how exciting the entire experience was and also how much they learnt from it. They swore that they would embrace the values of the university in their everyday lives and would gladly take any challenges thrown at them without any hesitation.
The after party was the event that most people were looking forward to, with an incredible line-up dominated by South Africa’s best national acts. There were the likes of Mobi Dixon, Busiswa, Frank Casino and Dj Milkshake. Mobi Dixon mentioned that he looked forward to being at NMU and being in front of the crowd. He also explained that he still gets nervous every time and that night was no different. All he had to do was feed off the energy from the crowd and he did just that!
The lists of all the winners is as follows:
Girls Top 6:
1- Asemahle Swana
5- Sino Kwanini
7- Ntokozo Mzimkhulu
8- Luciana Baatjies
9- Sinethemba Majokazi
10- Asiphumeze Nkula
Guys Top 7:
2 – Kwanele Bhudana
3- Liselani Ndiza
4- Yoneza Luphondwana
5- Khanya Sokutu
8- Jason Jacobs
9- Lwazi Gilman
12- Baphi Mabenge
Miss Personality- Jerolyn Pieterson
Mr Personality – Jason Jacobs
Miss Viewers Choice- Asemahle Swana
Mr Viewers Choice – Jason Jacobs
2nd Prince – Yoneza Luphondwana
2nd Princess – Luciana Baatjies
1st Prince – Liselani Ndiza
1st Princess – Asemahle Swana
Mr Freshette 2018 – Baphi Mabenge
Miss Freshette 2018- Sino Kwanini
By: Zenani Mhlongo