Tsogo Sun, which was announced as the official home of the Miss Earth South Africa in 2012, played host to the National Finalists at the Montecasino Southern Sun Hotel in the week leading up to the Gala event, which was attended by some of SA’s most glamorous and green people. The event was emceed by Jersey Boys heart throb and well-known South African actor, Emmanuel Castis, a long-time friend of the organisation who has helped with many projects and campaigns.
Eastern Cape beauty, Ashanti Mbanga (24), was crowned the Miss Earth South Africa 2013 at a star-studded Gala Dinner, which took place at Tsogo Sun’s beautiful Montecasino Ballroom this weekend.
Mbanga, who was dressed by Rubicon Clothing, is completing her Degree in Transport Economics, which she hopes to use as she pursues a political career in the transport sector.
Although born in the Eastern Cape, Mbanga has shared her time in Gauteng between Pretoria, Sunnyside where her family is and Johannesburg, where she is enrolled at the University of Johannesburg. Mbanga has big dreams for herself and aspires hopes one day to affect real change in the sustainable transport sector from the position of South African Transport Minister.
The runners up hail from equally diverse backgrounds, Erin Roche (21), first runner up, Miss Air, currently living in Centurion, was born and raised in Nelspruit, a town where she says, “A kind heart goes a long way.” Thobile Mchunu (24), second runner up, Miss Water, who was born in Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal, now considers herself a “Joburger” through and through having lived in the Nation’s economic capital since her family moved inland when she was in grade 3, is currently working at a youth marketing agency and fondly remembers a childhood spent playing barefoot in the garden with her younger sister.
Limpopo-based model and businesswoman, Katryn Barwise (22), took the third runner up, Miss Fire, title. Barwise is the proud owner of a Limpopo-based youth development organisation and as a Finalist she worked extensively with school learners of all ages on numerous environmental education programmes.