Miss India has brains and beauty

miss-india-south-africa-sabeeha-hussain.jpgPhoto taken by Peter Maher

Melissa Douman
IT WAS all smiles for Witsie, Sabeeha Husain, who was crowned Miss India South Africa on Saturday, 11 August 2007, at the City Hall in Durban.
Husain, 21, is a third-year BA student, majoring in law and international relations. She is also Vice President of the University’s Model United Nations Debating Society and member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Husain says that the Miss India South Africa Pageant is not a beauty pageant but rather one that embraces the richness of Indian culture. “We did not have to bare-it-all in skimpy bikinis,” she adds.
Instead, the 17 contestants displayed their talents in a talent category. Husain played Fur Elis by Beethoven on the piano and took the trophy for having the Best Talent.
She says that people describe her as “a witty, quick-thinking and confident woman,” which was put to the test in the grueling interview process that involved a panel of nine judges.
“I am adventurous and love adrenalin-pumping activities such as bungee jumping, white- water rafting and quad biking. As soon as I get my parents’ permission, I plan to sky-dive,” she says, “that would be the ultimate thrill!”
Not only did Husain walk off with the coveted title and the Miss Photogenic title, she also walked off with international stylist Vikram Phadnis (who will be dressing her for the year), and a navy blue and white Porsche Boxter S, sponsored by FutureFin.
Husain said in her letter of motivation to the pageant committee, “The world is undergoing profound transformation and I am hopeful that my chosen field of study and the various skills I have developed will enable me to make a humble but important contribution to world events. I am optimistic about our country’s future and believe we have a big role to play in world politics.”
She will be attending various corporate and social functions in the upcoming year, doing some community work and participating in the Miss India Worldwide Pageant in February next year.
“I don’t only see myself as a woman of the community or the country but rather as a woman of the world,” she says.
Riona Maharaj, 22, a final year psychology student, was first runner-up in the contest.

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