From the braai fork to the catwalk

Melinda Bam University of Pretoria student Miss South AfricaMelinda Bam loves The Blue Bulls. She admires Mamelodi Sundowns. She is a child of Pretoria – the Jacaranda City. Oh, and she thinks Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala is awesome.

Phew! She also has a soft spot for Moroka Swallows. Very strange for a down-to-earth Afrikaner meisie from Blue Bulls country. And she swears she’s just as slick with the braai fork as she is on the catwalk.

She loves to run, but admits she would stand no chance against SA 800m sensation Caster Semenya. Some people express surprise when they see her tall slim frame, because her surname is common among Xhosa people. She is Melinda Bam, 22. And she is not Xhosa.

Until last Sunday night, she was an unknown, simple girl who went to campus in flip-flops. But now she is Miss South Africa. And everyone wants a piece of her. All this becomes apparent when she breezes into the offices of Sun International in Sandton on a Thursday afternoon.

Staff walk over to shake hands and offer their congratulations. Some ask for pictures. Ag, she doesn’t mind. She obliges them with a smile. She offers polite words of appreciation too. She is a 1.7m bundle of elegance, brightness and sweetness, a down-to-earth soul who likes to laugh. And she can talk too.

Melinda Bam, Pretoria born Miss South Africa 2011But it’s not just hot air that comes out of this Pretorian’s mouth. Blonde moment! You can tell she’s familiar with the lecture hall. She’s just completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Pretoria.

She blushes with embarrassment when I note that beauty queens have become the butt of all sorts of jokes after some downright dumb answers offered by contestants in the pageants.

“I think stress contributes to it a lot,” she says, hastily adding: “Not that I think that is really an excuse because there are certain things you need to know if you want to be an ambassador for your country.”

She says she’s never had a blonde moment during a pageant, but says it happened a few times during exams! She learnt a bit of Mandarin during a stint of modelling in China. But during her stay there, she kept as far away from meat dishes as possible, just in case a frog or snake was whipped up for a meal.

She’s a dreamer too. One of her aims is to embark on a project that will see young people working closer with golden oldies to instil an ethos of hard work and perseverance.

“Not the Lotto mentality,” she says.

Everything in moderation. She has been a Christian for as long as she can remember and when she wants to get in touch with the one above, she joins her family and friends at the Christian Revival Church. She enjoys a glass of good red wine. But hey, not too much. “Everything in moderation,” she says. A bottle of whisky a week would be considered moderate, then?

She laughs. “If that’s your moderation…”

“I just drank lots of water,” she says when asked if perhaps she sought solace in a few tots before last week’s pageant at the Sun City Superbowl.

“I thought it was going to be absolutely nerve-racking but it was quite fine.”


She loves her oupa, Morris van Heerden, who lives in the Limpopo town of Modimolle.

“He’s one of my role models, an incredible man.

One of the best lessons he taught me was that you are not a product of your circumstances, but a product of choice,” she says admiringly of the old man she went to visit a day after her Sun City triumph.

Her next goal is to polish up on her Northern Sotho, which she took as a subject in primary school. And when she takes a break from the back-to-back interviews and public engagements, she likes nothing more than walking her two dogs in the park, and the activity she says helps her keep a healthy mind in a healthy body: running.

You go, girl!

source: City Press / Channel24


Lerato Mokoena and the Moment of truth for 11

Lerato Mokoena Miss Soweto Miss South Africa 2011 finalistSUNDAY will see the dreams of most of the 11 Miss SA contenders shattered, while one of them will be crowned the most beautiful woman in the country.

If the preliminaries are anything to go by Lerato Mokoena is poised to take the crown at the Sun City’s Superbowl.

The 22-year-old Vereeniging beauty is a veteran of pageants. She had previously won titles as second princess for Miss Bikini SA and Miss Soweto and holds the title of Miss Emfuleni 2010.

Mokoena is a photogenic lass with a body that is tailor made for a swimsuit. Her major asset is a beautiful face that manages to impress with minimal make-up.

She seems set to rock the judges with her cool demeanour, intelligence, grace and confidence.

During the preliminaries, Mokoena, who holds a BA in Tourism Development from the University of Johannesburg, stole the selected audience’s hearts with her poise, gracefulness and spontaneity.

Her bid for the crown has not been without difficulty, though. She has had to put up with insults from those who were mocking her for her hair loss problem.

Mokoena wears a wig because she suffers from alopecia areata, a condition that eats the hair away. Fortunately this has not affected her self-esteem.

Besides her beauty and obvious brains, Mokoena is also a philanthropist at heart.

During an interview with Sowetan, Mokoena said her major dream was to establish her own non-governmental organisation that will reach underprivileged communities in the country’s rural areas. Her focus will be on empowering the youth in these communities.

The media has seen Mokoena grow from an ordinary girl to the woman of today who could best represent the Miss SA office.

If all goes well on Sunday the 1,79m tall natural beauty could very well be crowned Miss SA.

source: Sowetan Live / Zenoyise Madikwa

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Reeva Steenkamp cracks FHM cover

Congratulations to Port Elizabeth’s Reeva Steenkamp for cracking the cover of FHM South Africa, December 2011 issue.

A law graduate and active socialite. She completed her high school and degree studies in the windy city.

We had the pleasure of meeting her at Montecasino, Fourways on a few occasions and stayed in touch via Facebook and Twitter for the last three years.

She was found shot dead on 14 February 2013 by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius.



Nonhle Thema Perfume and Album launch

Nonhle Thema perfume launch 2011Former host, Nonhle Thema, is hosting her perfume launch party with help from singer, Thabo Nene, at Vacca Matta in Montecasino, Fourways next week. Below is her telling you why you should attend this function. Listen to some of Thando Nene’s songs on you tube here and also here.

Come rub shoulders with the ***glitz and glamour**** of the celebrity world when Nonhle Thema will be launching her new fragrance and Thando Nene will be launching his new album

On the guest list: Celebrities & Personalities galore!

This is an ambitious launch by young entrepreneurs showcasing excellence and success, who believe that financial freedom creates a healthy state of prosperity and that taking control of today, through a myriad of innovations, inspires a tomorrow that is self driven, inspirational, successful, morally and financially stable.

As the saying goes “nothing succeeds like success” and for one to achieve it one needs to think it.

  • DJ Line up: Franky (Soul Candy & 5FM) – Vigilante (Metro FM) – Major League


  • Open for Invitations only from 7:30 – 9:30pm
  • Open to the public from 9:30
  • Tickets available at R100 per person