Nineteen-year-old Risuna Sithole from Bungeni village has won the first-ever Miss Hlanganani beauty pageant, held at the Njaka Njaka community hall in Bungeni at the start of the year. The young queen competed against 20 other local beauties for the 2024 title.
Rather than viewing the Miss Hlanganani pageant as just a competition, Risuna approached it as a personal challenge - a platform to foster personal growth and showcase her unique abilities. Her journey started with a simple desire: to become a role model, not just on the big stage but also within the confines of her home.
With an impressive collection of 13 titles, including being a Teen Universe South Africa finalist and ambassador, Risuna stands as a symbol of success. However, her achievements go beyond personal victories; they reveal a profound dedication to her community and causes close to her heart.
“Beyond the glitz and glamour, I am a passionate advocate for education, growth and development, and mental health care, and I intend to use this platform to extend a helping hand to those in need. I’ve already kick-started the Miss Hlanganani 2024 Back to School campaign, which is gaining traction and providing school supplies, uniforms, and motivational sessions to learners in need,” she said.
Risuna, who is also an author and motivational speaker, is channelling her talents to create a lasting impact. Her book, “Within Our Lives”, has not only earned her a Best Author award but also serves as a testament to her resilience and determination.
Her social advocacy includes volunteering for NGOs, supporting community initiatives, and leading campaigns on critical social issues. Actively involved in diverse organisations such as YIMA, Writers Corner Institute, Xalamuka Youth Club, and Talents Enrichment, Risuna is driven by her goal to instigate positive change in her community.