Meet the international Queens from South Africa

In 2019, 8 girls from South Africa attended the international Competition in Orlando Florida, USA. Leruo Nape and Uyanda Thupana made history by being the first ever South Africans to win the international Pageant.

Leruo Nape

Dumelang! Which means greetings in SeTswana, my native language. I am Leruo Nape and I am very proud to announce myself as the first South African International Junior Miss Jr. Teen. I live in Johannesburg city which is known as the ‘City of gold’.
I am a grade 11 student, and because of my passion for women, children and service, I hope to be a pediatrician or a gynecologist in the future.

Singing is one of my favourite things! I am part of my church and school choir and have won many singing awards. Other than singing, I’ve been recognized for my acting, dancing and public speaking skills. During my free time I enjoy being in the outdoors, reading and playing tennis.

I started pageantry at the age of 9 and have won quite a number of titles, and honestly I believe that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Through pageantry not only have I made unforgettable memories, experienced new things and travelled around the world, but I’ve also learned so much and gained essential qualities I need to reach my goals and ultimately be the person I want to be, such as hard work, determination, discipline, compassion, and patience.

I’ve done over 300 hours of community work. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous organizations and charities. I’m working with the inhabitants of the Goudkoppies Land Refill and provide a minimum of 250 refugees living on the dump site with a hot plate of food, and hygiene resources. Other charities I support are the St Andrews home for the aged, Nkosi Haven (orphanage) and Better SA, an organisation that does charity all over South Africa.

During my year of reign, I hope not only to have fun with my sister queens, travel around the world and learn new things, I also hope to use the huge platform that IJM gives me to lay a helping hand in my community, be a role model and create a positive change in the society.

Uyanda Thupana

Uyanda Thupana is an outspoken, fun and passionate young lady. She’s motivated and always aspiring to do her best and stand out.

This energetic lady enjoys public speaking as she feels it’s one of the many ways of self-expression and a way to motivate others to reach for the moon because if you fall you will land on the stars. Uyanda believes that anything is possible with hard work, determination and perseverance. 

She loves learning new information on how things work and if there’s a way to improve it. That’s why Science and Math are her favorite subjects, but also because she does well in those subjects and she’s an A student at school.  

A few years from now Uyanda sees herself walking the Runways of Prestige Designers and featuring in top magazines Internationally. She plans to keep South African models in the spotlight in the modelling industry for a long time.  

This loving young lady loves our environment and hopes for the generations after her can see how beautiful it is. During her spare time, she doesn’t only enjoy getting involved with her community but also reading. She says “It’s like being in another world watching from the sidelines.” Uyanda enjoys playing tennis and she is currently in the school tennis team of four. 

She hopes one day she will start her own modelling agency for less-privileged children so that they too can feel like a Princess. As she too felt like a princess the minute she stepped into #IJMLand and had so much fun, meeting the girls and creating bonds stronger than the strongest glue in the world. Every single moment was worthwhile as the IJM crown is the crown of opportunities.