How A Beauty Pageant Title Can Enhance Your Career

The country is beaming with pride after Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters defeated 91 other contestants and clinched the coveted Miss Universe title. The accolade may not be an academic qualification, but it certainly can open career doors.

Her triumph will undoubtedly change her life and she could use the platform to do great things. Here's a list of how other women used their pageant wins to launch successful careers.

Basetsana Kumalo

Bassie Kumalo

After winning Miss South Africa in 1994, Basetsana Kumalo went on to represent the country in the Miss World pageant where she was runner-up to winner Aishwarya Rai. 
After the end of her reign she landed a role as a Top Billing presenter and soon had the idea to produce the show under her then production company, Tswelopele Productions. According to her official website, Tswelopele Productions merged with Alliance Media which earned the company a JSE listing and this made Kumalo the youngest black female director to be part of mainstream business in the South African economy. She now owns production company Connect TV (responsible for hit shows such as Our Perfect Wedding and Date My Family) and Basestana Women Investment Holdings and is a director in her sister's company called Travel With Flair.

Jo-Ann Strauss

Jo Strauss

Jo-Ann Strauss burst onto the scene as Miss South Africa 2000 at the age of 19. She then completed a BCom Law degree from Stellenbosch University. Following the end of her reign she became a television presenter on Pasella and then joined Top Billing. Her expertise in being a master of ceremonies has seen her speak at prestigious international events, including charity events for the British and Monaco royal families. She also serves on the advisory boards of the University of Stellenbosch Graduate School of Business as well as of Media24 and award-winning advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel. Strauss also runs her own blog called Modern Mommy where she helps working mothers juggle work and motherhood.

Oprah Winfrey


Few know that at age 17 Oprah Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee pageant. She was offered an on-air job at WVOL, a radio station serving the African American community in Nashville. It was there where her love for journalism was harnessed. She then received a scholarship to study towards a communication degree. She worked at WVOL for a few years before a career in TV came knocking. The Oprah Winfrey Show, which she hosted for 25 seasons, remains the highest rated talk show in American history. Winfrey has a net worth of $3 billion dollars from the media empire she has built.