Sthembile Motloung says Matapa Maila-Rikhotso is powerful, inspiring woman

She said she learnt a lot while contesting in the Mrs South Africa beauty pageant.


eMalahleni businesswoman Sthembile Simelane-Motloung was one of the contestants in the Mrs South Africa 2018 competition and made it to the semi-finals.

Tuesday this week she said that she has found winner Matapa Maila-Rikhotso to be a very powerful woman, somebody with a “rich history” and who deserved the title.

“For me they couldn’t have chosen a better one. Matapa is a force. That woman is powerful,” reacted Sthembile.

“I’ve spent some time with Matapa and the other ladies and I can say that she deserves it. The position she took I wouldn’t say I should have because I’m not half the woman she is. The experience she has, maybe I wouldn’t say the things she said but I’m glad that she’s the winner,” she said.

Sthembile said she felt honoured being part of the competition and it had made her “to grow”.

“I was surrounded by a lot of women with varying backgrounds and as a woman you start realising how lucky you are being part of it. The types of stories that we shared with other women and that’s where one begins to grow,” she said.

Sthembile Motloung says Matapa Maila-Rikhotso is powerful, inspiring woman

Mrs South Africa 2018 semi-finalists Sthembile Motloung and Vanessa Botha

Sthembile told the 013NEWS reporter that one of the things she learnt during her Mrs South Africa journey is marketing skills.

“You know as a businessperson myself I’ve learnt that you can make money through social media. You can actually put your things out there on social media and get clients. You can get sponsors.

“Also you can be a brand ambassador for other companies and if I can be a brand ambassador for other companies why don’t I be an ambassador for my own company, the Sthe M?” she said.

Sthembile Motloung says Matapa Maila-Rikhotso is powerful, inspiring woman

Sthembile is a fashion designer by profession

“I’m stronger now in terms of business. There are things I never knew before about social media before and that’s just part of the things I left with,” she said.



The pageant of married women ended Friday a week ago when the judges announced the Limpopo-born Matapa as the Queen.

Enolicia Strever, a Free State-born contestant, was crowned the first princess while Jo-Ann Barnwell from Western Cape was crowned the second princess.

Matapa is a former Miss Earth SA 2008 and a Miss South Africa 2009 princess.

She is married to Douglas Rikhotso and winning the title means that she will now be an ambassador for SABC 3, the City of Ekurhuleni, the Women 4 Women movement and other sponsors of the Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa Pageant.

33-year-old Matapa Maila-Rikhotso who is also the logistics advisor at Sasol

She also walked away with prizes to the value of over R1 million, including a Suzuki Vitara car and a license own a Tammy Taylor Nails franchise.

The event was held at the Emperors Palace, east of Johannesburg.

Sthembile said what she loved about Matapa was her ability to “move people” in the pageant and her “rich history” – having made it despite her rural, poor background of Tjatjaneng village in Ga-Mothapo.

Sthembile said she will continue her work with a charity that assists women of domestic violence, herself having been able to move out of an abusive marriage.

She is married to April Motloung and they have four kids.

(edited by ZK)

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