News & Events

Unisa alumnus reaches the finals of Miss SA 2017

It is the time of year when the 2017 Miss South Africa Pageant is building its momentum. A bevy of beauties, 12 to be precise, will be vying for the prestigious crown come Sunday 26 March 2017.

A Unisa alumnus is one of the dazzling dozen. Yuta Raubenheimer, a BCom Business Management graduate, is already making her mark. The 25-year-old hails from Kameeldrift near Pretoria and her approach to the pageant has been two-pronged.

She says entering the pageant has been a part of her dreams for as long as she can remember and she’s never missed all the delight that goes with the pageant on a yearly basis. Yet she sees part of her journey of self-discovery also being fulfilled, as she says she is truly inspired by the community engagement projects that the entrants embark on during the competition.

“These reflect on what I believe in, as I love serving my country and contributing to community service and charity work. I work with the Reach for a Dream Foundation, which is an NGO that fulfils the dreams of children between the ages of three and 18 who have been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases.”

Raubenheimer says that there was a point in her life while growing up that she herself was in and out of hospital because of illness and she is inspired by what the NGO does to bring a smile on a child’s face. “The Reach for a Dream Foundation creates fun for children and it makes things happen for them.”

Being in the pageant has meant a few compromises such as putting her career ambitions on pause for the time being. She has been employed as a customer service supervisor by the Gautrain for the past six years and she was also promoted to a managerial position late last year but had to forgo that opportunity to concentrate on the pageant. She is grateful to her understanding employer for giving her the opportunity to be in the pageant full time.

Raubenheimer studied through Unisa, which she found to be easily accessible and affordable. “The institution made it possible for me to have the best of both worlds as I was able to earn a living at the Gautrain and study part time. The quality of education and flexibility offered by Unisa encourages me to register to study for an MBA in the future. I encourage any potential students to do the same—study and earn a living, all at the same time.”

For fun she does dancing, contemporary ballet, sh’bam, Zumba, advanced aerobics, and Toastmasters, and she is her church’s worship team member. “The Miss South Africa Pageant is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I am grabbing with both hands and am enjoying every minute thereof. My motto is you can only go as far as your mind allows you to.”


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*By Busisiwe Mahlangu