Last week, Miss South Africa was crowned and surprise, surprise, she was lacking in the melanin department.
The recipient of the crown was 21-year-old Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, a model and student. As Miss South Africa, Nel-Peters will receive R1 million in cash from Sun International and Cell C. She will also represent South Africa at the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants.
If Nel-Peters wins the Miss World pageant, she’ll be the fourth South African to win the title. Unfortunately, none of these winners were Black. Rolene Strauss was the last South African to win in 2014. The first winner was Penelope Anne Coelen in 1958 and the second was Anneline Kriel in 1974.
The selection of only White winners from South Africa reflects the history of the country. With a system of racial segregation beginning with the arrival of the Dutch in the 17th century, South Africa has struggled to shed a past of racism. Even in post-apartheid South Africa, many Afrikaners — decedents of the Dutch settlers — rally for a separate Afrikaner republic, according to Atlanta Black Star. Many non-White South Africans struggle with reclaiming land ownership and reversing the effects of racist policies.
When the first Black Miss South Africa, Jacqui Mofokeng, was finally crowned in 1993, some South African media outlets refused to cover her win. Some said the competition was “rigged,” while others ranted her victory was an attempt to “blackwash” South Africa.
White tears never fail to surface on a global level!
You can learn more about the current Miss South Africa winner in the video below.