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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Mrs South Africa semi-finalist determined to help victims of gender violence

Herself being a victim of a marriage that ended after 10 years of physical and emotional agony.


Mrs South Africa 2018 semi-finalist Sthembile Simelane-Motloung has told 013NEWS that she wants to dedicate her energy into assisting women victims of gender violence.

Simelane-Motloung eyes to make it as a finalist in June 2018 where judges will choose from the remaining 100 semi-finalists the 25 finalists.

This is a competition of married women with a career who annually contest for the title of Mrs South Africa.

She is in her second marriage but says the suffering she endured in her first marriage has a “residual impact” in her mind that she still has to fight daily even though she no longer has contact with the man.

Mrs South Africa semi-finalist determined to help victims of gender violence

Sthembile Motloung.

She says she would be beaten and arrive at the police station bleeding during the night but got no satisfactory action from the cops.

She decided to end it after 10 years of a painful suffering – verbal, physical and emotional abuse under the man who promised would protect her, though it was hard ending it because of the kids.

“That’s actually the reason why I’m contesting in this beauty pageant to change people’s lives, inspire them because some people think when you are in this position its the end of your life. I want people to look at me and feel there is hope,” Simelane-Motloung told the reporter over the phone on Wednesday morning this week.

A fashion designer by profession, the 40-year-old Sthembile, a mother of four, is the child of former eMalahleni coal miner, the late Jacob Simelane, and Esther Msibi, a former dress-maker teacher.

She ended her first marriage in 2008, having been there since 1998.

She got married afterwards with who she describes as “the most humble and caring man on earth”.

So what does she mean when she says she wants people to be inspired by her?

Mrs South Africa semi-finalist determined to help victims of gender violence

SMS Sthembile Motloung to 35959.

“Most people believe when they are in an abusive relationship its the end of you. They can’t move, there’s no swing. They think, ‘if I leave this person what will happen to me, the kids, shelter, food, clothes and so on’. I left.

“So I want people to look at me and say ‘this woman had kids but she managed to leave because of daily abuse but look at her now? She made it’,” she told the reporter.

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Simelane-Motloung says if she wins, as “I’ll definitely do”, she wants to use her influence as Mrs South Africa to approach sponsors to fund initiatives towards assisting women victims of abusive relationship through skills development and shelter.

“The most painful thing is that when she leaves the house where is she going to stay? I’m not advocating for people to split but I’m involved with a lot of women who share different painful stories and from my own experience and that of the people I interact with I know exactly how it is being in that situation,” she said.

Abusers can convince you that you do not deserve better treatment or that they are treating you this way to “help” you or because of how much they love you.

Here are some signs to watch for if you think you or a friend may be in psychologically abusive relationship:

– Humiliating or Embarrassing

– Constant put-downs

– Hypercriticism

– Refusing to communicate

– Ignoring or excluding you

– Extramarital affairs

– Provocative behaviour with opposite sex

– Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice

– Unreasonable jealousy

– Extreme moodiness

– Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you

– Saying “I love you but…”

– Saying things like “If you don’t…I will…”

– Domination and control

– Withdrawal of affection

– Guilt trips

– Making everything your fault

– Isolating you from friends and family

– Using money to control you

– Constant calling or texting when you are not with him

– Threatening to commit suicide if you leave

(edited by ZK)

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