Annwen Jordan ( 34 years old ) also known as ‘Missjaybeauty’ was born in Johannesburg but raised in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, and later moved back to Johannesburg immediately after completing her schooling.
Annwen is a professional model and entrepreneur. She started modeling after being scouted at a mall but little did she know that the industry at that time had certain “beauty standards” and that trying to make a name as a successful model would prove to be challenging, to say the least.
After leaving the modeling and fashion industry to peruse other avenues, she returned in 2017 with new determination and energy, ready to redefine the definition of beauty by depicting how unbelievably multi-faceted women are through her profession.
“I find it so interesting that this word ‘beautiful’ has been misconstrued in our industry for the longest time”. says Annwen. Ironically, her name means beautiful (derived from Welsh descent). “For way too long, we have been underrepresented both as women of colour and as working professionals. The way our beauty and experiences are depicted on television, in fashion, in films, and in the news should fully reflect the expansive spectrum & nuance of our experiences and inner beauty,” she says.
Finding herself and owning her uniqueness has caused the industry to see her as racially ambiguous which has been her greatest strength. She describes herself as powerful yet vulnerable, strong yet delicate, sexy yet demure, creative yet strategic, unconventional yet understanding. She’s had the privilege of working with a lot of professionals in the industry but states that her most amazing experience has been working with brands such as Aot Foto Photography and Vamp Me Tumi MUA.
“Tosin Awosusi has literally ignited a fire under me that I believe will take me to the next level,” she says. Annwen definitely does not fit into one box anymore. In fact, she never did! She is versatile enough to represent any brand, look or profile and she states that she certainly won’t let anyone put her back into a box. She strongly believes that women are the most amazing beings gifted to this world and that they can be anything they want to be.
“It’s remarkable to see how the industry has opened up a little more and is accepting different definitions of beauty,” she smiles! “Even though as models we face much rejection at times, we should never let that stop us from achieving our goals. We should be fearless in our pursuit and make them believe in us. I believe that the only person who can stop you is You!” she says.
As a model, two things are important to Annwen, firstly, she intentionally aligns with brands that encapsulate women in all their beauty (not the societal definition of beauty) and brands that have a story to tell.
Secondly, she endeavours to showcase women through her shoots, artistry, and even entrepreneurship. “We are perfectly imperfect and that’s what makes us beautiful and enough! I do this because I believe that we owe the generations after us the right to see themselves represented in all industries, especially in beauty, entrepreneurship, and the media,” says Annwen.
Finally, the number of contestants vying for Miss South Africa has been narrowed down to 10. This exciting announcement was made by the organisers on Wednesday the 5th of August 2020.
The Miss SA 2020 top 10 finalists are:
Aphelele Mbiyo (24), a Mthata-born Integrated Marketing Communications graduate from Joburg. Also, from Joburg, in Soweto is Busisiwe Mmotla (27), a Senior & FET Phase teacher, who graduated from the University of Johannesburg.
Representing the Capital City (Pretoria) is Chantelle Pretorius (24) a full-time international model with a diploma in nutrition and is working towards finishing her B.Com Business Management degree.
From Cape Town, we have Jordan van der Vyver (24), an international model who usually spends half the year working overseas.
From Chatsworth, KwaZulu Natal, but Joburg based, is Karishma Ramdev (25), a medical doctor at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
Lebogang Mahlangu (24) represents Soshanguve, Pretoria. She is a food scientist working in research and development for a large multi-national. And from Butterworth, Eastern Cape is Melissa Nayimuli (24) who resides in Sunninghill, Johannesburg where she works as an account manager for a marketing agency.
From Tshwane, Centurion is Natasha Jourbet (23), a B.Com in Marketing Management graduate working in PR at a firm of attorneys.
From the north is Shudufhadzo Musida (24) from Ha-Masia in Limpopo. She has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pretoria and is currently doing her BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.
Lastly, there is Thato Mosehle (25) from Klerksdorp in the North West. She is a doctor currently completing her internship to become an anesthesiologist.
Miss South Africa 2020 will be the 62nd edition of the Miss South Africa pageant. The final will be held on 24 October 2020 and screened live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic. Sasha-Lee Olivier will crown her successor at the end of the event.
Organisers also confirmed that for the first time in the history of the pageant, the contestants who make the top 3 will represent the country at the world’s three most prestigious pageants, namely Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss Supranational.
Reigning Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Olivier went live on Instagram to announce this year’s top 15 on Wednesday the 24th of June 2020.
Subsequent to the announcement, the public is encouraged to vote for their favourite, who will make up the top 10 to compete in the finale which will take place later in the year. The top 10 will be announced at the end of July.
Here are the top 15 finalists in alphabetic order:
The Miss South Africa 2020 top 35 finalists were unveiled earlier this week. We celebrate the Queens that have been selected and look forward to watching them go through the journey of becoming Miss SA.
The group of ladies are an impressive and diverse group which includes two medical doctors, a lawyer, a teacher, a film maker, a singer and a fashion designer.
Over the next few weeks, the 35 beauties will have to set out to amaze this year’s judges, amongst others, Anele Mdoda and three former Miss SA winners, Bokang Montjane
HERE ARE THE TOP 35 FINALISTS IN ALPHABETIC ORDER:
In the past, models had to be represented by an agency, but now in a highly competitive market with fewer jobs, models are taking their careers into their own hands and starting to create their own freelance pathways. However, being independent and working as a freelance model can be quite challenging. This means that you have to represent yourself and are responsible for finding and booking your own work. Nontobeko Mothabisa currently works as a freelance model and shares more insight into being independent.
Q. When did you start modeling professionally?
A. I started modeling in 2016 whilst at College. I landed a contract with an agency called Manifest Modeling agency based in East rand. That’s where I learned how to walk, pose, and to represent myself in front of people.
Q. What do you love about modeling?
A. Modeling has taught me discipline and self-confidence. These are two important aspects that make me strive to look and be my best at all times. I also like fashion photoshoots because I get to wear different clothes from various brands.
Q. How long were you signed under Sync Models?
A. It was a 1-year contract from July 2018 to July 2019.
Q. How was the experience for you?
A. I had a great and challenging experience with Sync Models. The agency helped me to build my image, but the challenging part is that having agency representation doesn’t necessarily mean that a model has signed up for success. You still have to work hard and find gigs on your own.
Q. How has freelancing modeling been for you?
A. Being a freelance model has been challenging. Working independently has not been easy. Finding gigs and bookings on my own, building my own portfolio, marketing, educating myself about the modeling industry and networking has been quite a daunting task!
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a freelance model?
A. The Advantages: There is no contract involved with many rules and regulations. The Disadvantages: You are responsible for finding your own work and sometimes you don’t get big gigs. Brands mostly reject freelance models and consider those from agencies.
Q. What type of modeling do you do?
A. I’m into commercial, swimsuit and lingerie and promotional modeling.
Q. What is the process of finding work for a freelance model?
A. A model should have professional pictures, set up an online portfolio because social media sites are not as professional as websites. Networking with people in the modeling industry and going to open casting calls is important.
Q.So, does this mean that you can sign with different agencies as a freelance model?
A. Yes, I can sign with different agencies as long as they don’t overlap. However, the agencies have to be separated by city.
Q.Have you secured any modeling gigs so far?
A. Yes. I have done music video shoots.
Q. Can you make a full-time living just modeling as a freelancer?
A. Unfortunately not! I cannot make a full-time living modeling as a freelancer because I don’t always get paying gigs every month, and I have monthly bills to pay.
Q. Being able to do your own hair and makeup is one of the requirements for a freelancer – Can you?
A. Yes, I can. I have makeup skills and I can do my own hair.
Q. How do you ensure that you build a strong online presence in order to be spotted?
A. I am always active on social media and always ensure consistency. I also manage my posts in terms of when and what to post, as well as keeping track and looking out for opportunities.
Q. How do you take care of your skin and keep your body in shape?
A. For my skin, I avoid using strong soap and I use a moisturizer to keep my dry skin moist and smooth. To keep my body in shape, I try to follow a healthy diet and avoid eating junk food.
The modeling industry can be a tough place to try and make a living from. Many designers, agents, clients, and photographers have no problem pointing out your flaws or imperfections, and if they don’t like what they see, they move on to the next model.
Unfortunately, the modeling industry is very narrow and furthermore, rejection is inevitable. But that is only a problem for those who don’t know how to deal with it. Yolanda Dikobe, a 22-year-old model from Hammanskraal in Pretoria knows how to bounce back from rejection.
She started modeling two years ago but says she would have liked to start modeling sooner. However, she was rejected many times before by agencies. “Honestly, I didn’t believe it when Fabulous.Com Models invited me for an interview. So, when they signed me, I was very excited,” says Yolanda.
Since being signed, she has been featured in magazine editorials and has travelled to Paris through the agency. “It was my first time on a flight and also my first time out of the country. I’ll never forget that moment. Travelling to a country where most people don’t speak English was quite challenging. As a result, I’m currently learning French online,” she says.
“Modeling was my dream. As a teenager, I was inspired by Kimora Lee Simmons and I wanted to be like her, a model and a businesswoman. I have many models that I look up to, like Naomi Campbell, Joan Smalls, and our very own Candice Swanepoel. All of them have achieved many things that I also wish to achieve,” says Yolanda.
tough. There’s no way around it, and most of us will deal with it at several
points in our lives. What separates the pros from the amateurs, however, is how
you deal with being rejected and told “no.” If you are a model, and you are
told you weren’t chosen for a specific job, are you going to give up and let
that break you, or are you going to work on becoming a better model so the next
time has the outcome you desire?
Models are constantly at risk of being told no, especially when they are just beginning their career. Yolanda says she hasn’t been criticised for her looks, but she has been told that she doesn’t have the look for particular jobs. But she never takes it as a criticism because she believes that different features work for different jobs.
says; “Previously, I used to hate my features, thinking that they are not
strong enough, but I’ve realised that they are perfect for me as they allow me
to do high fashion and commercial modeling,” she says.
Remember, even Kate Moss who is now an iconic supermodel was often told no because she was “too short” to model. And, supermodel Gisele Bundchen was turned down by over 40 agencies before she was signed and is now one of the highest paid models of all time.
“I’m convinced that I can achieve anything! I just have to put in the work. One of my fellow models always says something very profound to me. She says, “trust your process”, and this is working. Now I know that when the time is right, I’ll get what’s mine.
Over time, Yolanda
has learned that “no” will turn into “yes” and understands how to turn
rejection into lessons that will better her as a model.