uMhlanga Summer Festival, 2018
Monday 17 Dec: Millennium Stage
The tenth Miss uMhlanga Beauty Pageant will take place in the morning on Monday 17 December 2018 on the beach, as one of the highlights of the uMhlanga Summer Festival programme.
The annual Miss uMhlanga Beauty Pageant will take place at 11.30am on Monday 17 December on the Millennium Stage co-ordinated by Kevin Ellis and Gareth Greaves. There are some fabulous prizes up for grabs. There are cash prizes as well as in-kind prizes of bespoke, tiaras, sashes and medals – all hand made by Gareth Greaves. There are also prizes for Miss Most Potential, Miss Photogenic
The Miss uMhlanga categories are only one open age group: 15 and older. No children will be competing this year. Registration is at 10.30am on the beach on the day, and the event will be on stage until 2pm featuring a bevy of potentially best ambassadors to represent uMhlanga. Ages are taken as of 17 December. Participants are asked to please bring picture ID.
Entry to participate into the Miss uMhlanga is R150 cash – which will go towards purchasing needed items for uMhlanga child-focused NGOs – supporting the season’s theme this year: It’s Cool to Care – with all aspects of the season aimed at caring for people and the planet. Cash prizes can be won to the value of: 1st R5,000, 2nd R3,000, 3rd R1,000.
Participants can enter on the day. Registration is from 10.30am and the competition is from 12 until 2pm.
The successful finalists will be crowned at the beach on the day. Girls are welcome to wear sarongs with their beach-wear.
No stranger to the ramp, pageant co-ordinator, Kevin Ellis has been part of this event since its beginning. He is renown in Durban for a multitude of talents: eventor; creative; choreographer; teacher and stylist. He scouted word famous Victoria Secret model Candice Swanepool who is one of Forbes highest paid models in the world, and Genevieve Morton, FHM’s sexiest woman in the world who is now in Hollywood. He also choreographed the first season of X Factor.
The Miss uMhlanga boasts many success stories of former winners during the pageant’s decade long history: Former winners include Tana Boschoff who became Swimsuit model of the world; Kayla Booth now lives in Paris and is a Moulin Rouge dancer; Sune Botes went on to be runner-up in the international Model of the World; Ursula van Rooyen won mum’s section three years ago and has now opened her own model school in Cape Town.
Among the judges this year will be Neena Bezuidenhout from Empangeni who is a former winner of Miss uMhlanga and Miss Empangeni; who is this year’s winner of The Jewel of the World competition; and Natisha Maker who was a finalist for Mrs SA, representing KZN.
Kevin Ellis is also an internationally acclaimed dancer – for the past years, he has won a myriad international dance titles. This year he is European Doubles and Singles champion; he won World in Black Pool three months ago both single and double; and won Rumba in the Jungle at Sun City, as well as a new competition: SA Cabaret Champion 2018.
Gareth Greaves is the event’s stylist. He is a designer, stylist, and a face-painter extraordinaire. He is responsible for the handmade sashes and bespoke tiaras. He was stylist for the first season of X Factor.
Ellis said, “We are looking for new faces. We are welcoming newcomers to the industry as we will have model scouts among the judges looking for future talent. If you are an aspiring model, this is an excellent platform to get fantastic exposure and a great way to get discovered. No experience is needed.”
Ellis wishes to acknowledge the ongoing support of EMM Models in assisting to identify contestants and supporting them and the festival.
Chairman for the uMhlanga Tourism Committee, Peter Rose said, “The beauty pageants are always a highlight of the festival. We have had many previous winners and finalists who have gone on to claim titles on both national and international levels.”
For more info please visit the uMhlanga Tourism Facebook page.
Ellis and Greaves are jointly co-ordinating the beach activities for the festival this year, and have designed the new event in the festival calendar this year, the Wacky Waitrons’ race and obstacle course.
This year, although many of the season events are formally free of charge, we encourage visitors and participants to please bring along a gift suitable to give to an underprivileged child for Christmas. Collection points are the Millennium Stage during the festival and at the Carol Under the Stars event – which uMhlanga Rotary will distribute to needy children over Christmas.
Also a big part of the festival is to encourage awareness about our natural beauty spots in uMhlanga and to actively keep them beautiful – so there will be daily beach clean ups, and the organisers are encouraging a “No plastic straw policy” to avoid unnecessary plastic to find its way into the ocean.

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