The Billy Francis Hall in Buffalo Flats was full of excitement last Friday as Social, Health and Empowerment (SHE) hosted their annual Miss Trans Diva pageant.
Twenty-four contestants put on a stunning show in front of a four-person judge panel made up of SHE ambassador Athenkosi Fani, Legendary Agency representative Akhinzolo Qoto, Miss Berlin November finalist Andamaswazi Songelwa and Alabaster Box Foundation founder Thinasingalakha Nota.
In the end, Roman Thomas was crowned Miss Trans Diva 2019 with Bathandwa Moss and Simamkele Luningo earning 1st and 2nd Princess respectively. Siviwe Botha was named Miss Personality.
As previously reported by the GO! & Express, the aim of the Miss Trans Diva pageant is aimed at transwomen and seeks to provide a safe space for LGBTQI people.
“This is us showing our identity in a crowd without being combative or being vocal but rather using our bodies and our appearance so that people can see what being transgender is,” SHE programme director Wandile Dyoba said.
SHE media officer Andre Jacquire said they were pleased with the turnout and were glad that everyone enjoyed themselves.
According to Jacquire, one of the biggest challenges the organisers faced was time constraints.
“When you organise an event such as this in a short time, it delays other duties such as getting sponsorship, organising the venue and organising financially,” he said.
Jacquire also said that a lot of work went in to ensuring the venue was safe and easily accessible.
Going forward, Jacquire said SHE has three main goals for future Miss Trans Diva pageants: “getting more transwomen involved with the event, hosting the event at different venues to create awareness in the different communities, and we would also like to include transmen as part of the event for 2020”.