Machaba is First Transgender Woman to Compete in Miss South Africa Pageant

The beautiful 24-year-old transgender woman, Lehlogonola Machaba from the North West has been selected as one of 30 finalists for the highly coveted title.

Lehlogonolo Machaba, the first trans woman to make it into the top 30 for the 2019 Miss South Africa competition, continues to change the face of beauty.

The news comes after Leyna Bloom was named the first trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Swimsuit Issue.

“This journey has been nothing but a great one and all of you have made this worthwhile,” the caption on her post read. “I will continue to push for change and acceptance of everyone in the LGBTQI+ community and being the first EVER TransWoman in the competition I can declare that by the grace of God, TOP 15 here we come.”

In an interview with Times Live, Machaba explained how her work and advocacy is a statement for “dark-skinned, transgender women.” “My mere existence in society is threatening and there’s a lot of closet[ed] transgender women who are afraid to come out in fear of receiving hate and even worse, being killed,” she said. “By doing this I am helping all those women to know that there’s still hope and the world is changing for good, slowly but surely.”

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Lehlogonola Machaba, as a semi-finalist, ushers in a new age of achievement and visibility for Africa’s LGBTQ+ population. She will compete against 30 other competitors for the coveted title of Miss South Africa, despite the fact that she is only 24 years old. Since 2019, transgender women have been allowed to compete. Those who apply for the event do not have to reveal their gender identity. Machaba, a native of an interior region called as North West, which borders Botswana, sharing the news via her Instagram page was a proud and history-changing moment.

On the onset that the 24-year-old wins the Miss South Africa pageant competition, she shared that she would “fight even harder to get the Hate Crimes Bill passed.” 

The 2021 Miss South Africa Pageant finale will take place this coming October.

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