What in the South African Beckery Is Happening Here?

Miss World South Africa has just unveiled her “traditional” dress for this year’s Miss World pageant, and it is a sight to behold. In fact, you may need to put on sunglasses before you gaze onto this brilliant, high-grade, unfiltered, purest-of-the-pure, top-shelf Beckery.

And the congregation rose up and said, “Oh no, baby. What is you doing?”

The outfit will be worn by Adé van Heerden, the runner-up in the Miss South Africa pageant. It was designed by Matome Seshoka of Antherline Designs, who’s described in the South African as being “the master connoisseur of African couture.” Here’s what Seshoka had to say about the dress for the Miss World pageant:

My team and I were inspired by Ndebele people who have an extraordinary culture and authenticity. They are the most colourful tribe and truly South African. We fused this with a bit of Zulu culture to give the national costume a modern and young feel. The colours of our national flag give it a proudly South African look. We included a cape because this represents power and strength and is usually worn by Zulu queens.


Let’s consult the old Googles.

Here’s a (stunning) photo of a member of the Ndebele tribe:

Wikimedia Commons

Here are some gorgeous Zulu dancers:

John Moore/Getty Images
Khaya Ngwenya/AP Images

And then we have this. Your, ummmm, “Zulu queen”-to-be:


Yes, Barack Obama said we can, but I cannot. Michael B. Jordan simply did not get a gold jaguar Killmonger suit to have the continent disrespected like this. While South African is unquestionably van Heerden’s nationality, the clothes she’s wearing certainly don’t reflect her heritage.

Or, as one colleague (the beloved and oft-referenced software engineer Victor Amos) so aptly and succinctly put it, “Shouldn’t she have on some colonizer clogs or something?”

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About the author

Anne Branigin

Staff writer, The Root. Sometimes I blog slow, sometimes I blog quick. Do you have this in coconut?