Palesa Matjekane, the reigning Mrs South Africa 2023 until last week, congratulates Roshini on her Public Choice Award. Photo supplied.
Date: 24 November 2023 By: Pétria de Vaal
Roshini Pakkiree has once again made Louis Trichardt and its people proud. She was chosen as one of the Top 10 in the Mrs South Africa Pageant on Friday, 17 November, at Emperor’s Palace, where the event took place. Earlier this year, the Zoutpansberger wrote about Roshini, who had entered this competition. “I was excited right from the start of this journey. History was made, and I was part of this!”
Roshini shares that this year, the cut-off age of 50 for entering the competition had been extended to 55 years. “For me, this meant that I could enter as I am over 50. It was also a first in terms of someone in her fifties reaching the Top 10!”
“The journey became challenging in a way. We had a couple of targets: one being a fundraiser for SAACA (Southern Africa Animal Cancer Association), and the other one, the campaign for the Mrs Public Choice award. I got anybody and everybody to vote for me—from July up until 16 November, when it was judging day. I was excitedly nervous on that day. We were doing rehearsals for a dance at the final event. The judging was a tense situation. In the morning, we had to give a three-minute PowerPoint presentation about our journey. Afterwards, there was an interview with a panel of judges. We were asked about current affairs as well as a bit of personal information,” Roshini says.
She continues to tell that, at the end of the day, a preliminary show was held where the judges would see them in swimwear and evening gowns. “That night, I was pleasantly surprised because I got the Mrs SA Public Choice award, as well as the Brand Ambassador award for SAACA.”
One of the questions that Roshini was asked on that evening was the following: “What makes you believe in a brighter future for our country?” Her reply was: “First and foremost, I consider myself the ‘Queen of Hope’, so, I’ve always rallied around restoring hope. The first thing I believe is, in order for any change to come in any situation, the fundamentals have to be met, that is providing hope, positivity and belief. When we have those basics in place, then anything and everything is possible.”
Roshini says that, at the final event on Friday night, a brand of denim clothing was first showcased. “After that, we showcased designer clothes, followed by swimwear. My colour was red. I was a lot more confident this time than I was in the semi-finals. My husband and my parents were very proud of me. I realised that the ‘old’ Roshini would never do this,” she says. Finally, it was the designer evening gown—most were wearing white dresses. “My designer collection was ‘For New Romantics.’ We were all on stage when they announced the Top 10. I was not even concentrating because I did not expect this. When they called my name, I was shocked and excited at the same time!”
Roshini wants to encourage women to undertake a journey like this—it helps to feel good about yourself. “I won so much, and I did not even aim to win. Many of us are in comfort zones. We do not feel brave enough. My message to our community is: If you never try, you will never know. Even if you just reach a quarter of your dream, never give up. If you want something, remember that the star does not fall in your lap—you have to jump and reach for it. It is easy to feel sorry for oneself, but remember, pressure is what moves us in this world. You have to crush grapes to make wine. Mrs SA was a tough year with lots of pressure—but pressure in a good way,” Roshini concludes.