Miss Earth South Africa 2022 lets us in to her heart and her head


“I am driven by a passion to ensure that our planet is able to remain our home for generations to come and our abundance of wildlife” says Miss Earth South Africa 2022, Ziphozethu Sithebe



In the very dynamic world of purposeful pageantry, Miss Earth South Africa sets itself a part by elevating active citizenship through environmental advocacy. Newly crowned Miss Earth South Africa, Ziphozethu Sithebe is currently gearing up for her participation at the upcoming 22nd edition of the international Miss Earth competition, taking place in Manila, Philippines on 29 November 2022.



22-year-old Ziphozethu, whose name means ‘our gifts’ in isiZulu, is a television personality and an aspiring pilot who is passionate about finding sustainable solutions for a better future.



We sat down with her to hear more on her enthusiasm to inspire South Africans and the world to value the gifts that the earth has provided.



Q: What drives your passion for environmental advocacy, and what is your focus?


Ziphozethu: My environmental advocacy is driven by a passion to ensure that our planet is able to remain our home for generations to come and our abundance of wildlife. I also believe that issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, water scarcity are as a result of negative human impact – and can also be fixed through positive human impact, that is what drives my environmental advocacy.

It is based on three levels:


(a) highlighting the importance of sustainable food sources through growing our own food, using sustainable agricultural practices.


(b) alleviating period poverty through spreading awareness about the environmentally friendly and economical alternatives to pads and tampons.


(c) advocating for the slow fashion movement by highlighting the importance of sustainable fashion.



Q: The 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is taking place in Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the world has made many strides towards raising awareness on the impact of climate change. What concrete changes do you hope to see implemented in the next 30 years?


Ziphozethu: Urgent action is needed for the continent of Africa. The weather reports of the past few years paint a bleak picture characterised by ecosystem collapse, species extinction and climate hazards such as heatwaves and floods. It is sad that Africa has done very little to cause the climate crises, but as a continent, Africa has suffered disproportionately from the climate crises – with the rest of the world just watching.

Furthermore, I would like to see concrete resolutions taken with regards to corporations who illegally use African coastal countries as dumping ground for toxic and hazardous waste, which threatens the livelihood of locals and destroys fishing grounds.



Q: Name three everyday green habits or environmentally positive habits that all South Africans should nurture to save our planet.


Ziphozethu: 1. Plant at-least one tree in your lifetime. Trees are one of the best ways to reduce the air pollution because trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. 2. Save water and energy. Take a shorter shower and close the water faucet while brushing your teeth. Also, installing the LED energy saving light bulb helps households consume 75% less of energy than the traditional lights bulbs. 3. Avoid plastic bottles.



Q: If you could bring something that is extinct back into existence, what would it be and why?


Ziphozethu: I would certainly bring back the blue-buck or bloubok. This is an extinct species of antelope that lived in South Africa until around 1800.

I would bring back the bloubok with a hope that the species could offer insight into scientific knowledge, natural resources and evolution details that are currently unavailable to us.



Q: What are the three things about you that would surprise us?


Ziphozethu: I am really good at playing a guitar. I am also a stunt cyclist, and still have my BMX stunt bike from childhood. Lastly, if your hockey team is short of a midfielder, you can count on me to save the day!


For more information on Ziphozethu’s journey to the international Miss Earth stage on 29 November 2022 and her overall work on environmental advocacy, follow Miss Earth South Africa on Twitter and Instagram (@missearth_sa) and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/missearthsa).



Website: www.missearthsa.co.za




About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.


About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower, and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.


Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs, and government, churches, and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills, or goods to contribute to a better future for all.


Image Source: Miss Earth South Africa