Posts under ‘News’

Meet your MEAT FREE MONDAY Journey

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Fun foods you and I an enjoy on Mondays: visit your nearest supermarket.

 16000 Tons of water can be saved if 2 steaks of meat are not eaten in one day

A plea to the world

Friday, May 30th, 2014

During a visit to one of the community shelters in Parys I came across a shelter that accommodates victims of physical abuse, rape and human trafficking. What struck me the most was how close to home this issue of human trafficking is. I got  a chance to speak  to one of the girl victims who was trafficked from Nigeria to South Africa in 2007. This young girl is only 17 years of age but she has went through immensely painful experiences. However I am happy to report that she now lives in a warm and safe home. In celebration of those who were saved from this terrible way of life we should still remember that the world still suffers from the hand of Human Traffickers and in order to defeat it we need to know about it and stand up in one accord and say: STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING!

Human trafficking has evolved into one of the most tragic features of contemporary global migration, with as many as one million people estimated to have been trafficked across borders annually. The trade is considered the third largest source of profits for transnational criminal organizations, with only drug trafficking and weapons smuggling being more lucrative.

Lured by promises of well-paying jobs and other opportunities abroad, many trafficked persons willingly accept the services offered by human traffickers without realizing the full nature of their employment, or the conditions in which they will work in. Trafficked persons are prevented from escaping by security guards, violence or threats of violence made against them or their family members and friends and/or by having their identity documents confiscated.

In light of human trafficked victims, and the missing girls in Nigeria a prayer was held by church committees in Parys, Tumahole. Now I extend an invitation to everyone in South Africa and around the world to keep praying for our girls and also to open their hearts to those thrown in to the deep end by being trafficked to places far away from their homes.


*Information sourced from SACTAP and IOM.

Keneilwe Kenzo Pule



Miss Earth SA searches for the next GREEN beauty

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Miss Earth South Africa Women Empowerment and Leadership Programme once again promises to be one jam-packed with environmental milestones, sustainable achievements and green dreams as the organisation embarks on their annual search for South Africa’s next green beauty. Young women between the ages of 18 and 26 are invited to submit their applications for the 2014 programme, which strives to empower young South African women to take an active role in sustainable development, community greening, energy efficiency and carbon reduction programmes. With applications for the 2014 programme officially open, the organisation is eager to follow their phenomenal achievements of 2013 and to start working with amazing young women from across the country.

The 2013 programme saw the organisation achieve numerous milestones, including distribution of in excess of 13,000 stationery packs at underprivileged schools with Sappi and touching thousands of learners and community members through various greening and community upliftment projects around the country. The organisation also travelled to West Africa to launch the Miss Earth Côte d’Ivoire programme and spent World Environment Day and World Ocean’s Day greening this West African state with Ivorian government and local UNEP officials. Finalists in the 2013 programme had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town and around Gauteng for numerous greening and community projects and educational workshops with Reliance Compost.

The Miss Earth South Africa programme aims to expose young South African women to important issues such as Water Stewardship, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies, Glass Recycling and Sustainability. Successful candidates will have the platform to be hands-on involved in educational programmes, workshops and much more. The programme aims to add value to the lives of all the successful 2014 candidates. Miss Earth South Africa 2013, Ashanti Mbanga, was fortunate to travel extensively during the year of her reign and believes that her participation in the programme has changed her life in numerous ways, “It was during the competition that I realised how blessed I am to have the sponsors, partners and support that I have; I never lacked for anything and that helped me to be fully involved in all levels of my international experiences.”

The crowing of the 2014 Miss Earth South Africa will take place at an event later this year, which will be attended by high profile dignitaries, celebrities, and local and international green leaders. Proud partners of the Miss Earth South Africa include Tsogo Sun, IMPERIAL Toyota, Sappi, Crystal Forum, Reliance Compost, and Bijan Boutique Hairdressers.

Log on to to download an application form and for details of application requirements. Like their Facebook page and follow them on twitter (@missearth_sa) for regular updates throughout the programme. Entries close on 23 February 2013 and interview sessions will take place across the country during March and April. Successful candidates will be notified of interview dates in their area. Join the green and glam revolution and be part of a solution to fight climate change. For more on this story visit the website,, follow Miss Earth South Africa on Twitter (@missearth_sa) or Like on Facebook (

Three At-Risk Animal Species in Africa

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Endangered Species

Scoring Africa

Monday, September 9th, 2013


Ashanti Mbanga crowned Miss Earth South Africa 2013 at spectacular Gala dinner

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Eastern Cape beauty, Ashanti Mbanga (24), was crowned the Miss Earth South Africa 2013 at a star-studded Gala Dinner, which took place at Tsogo Sun’s beautiful Montecasino Ballroom last night. Mbanga, who was dressed by Rubicon Clothing, is completing her Degree in Transport Economics, which she hopes to use as she pursues a political career in the transport sector. Although born in the Eastern Cape, Mbanga has shared her time in Gauteng between Pretoria, Sunnyside where her family is and Johannesburg, where she is enrolled at the University of Johannesburg. Mbanga has big dreams for herself and aspires hopes one day to affect real change in the sustainable transport sector from the position of South African Transport Minister.

The runners up hail from equally diverse backgrounds, Erin Roche (21), first runner up, Miss Air, currently living in Centurion, was born and raised in Nelspruit, a town where she says, “A kind heart goes a long way.”Thobile Mchunu (24), second runner up, Miss Water, who was born in Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal, now considers herself a “Joburger” through and through having lived in the Nation’s economic capital since her family moved inland when she was in grade 3, is currently working at a youth marketing agency and fondly remembers a childhood spent playing barefoot in the garden with her younger sister. Limpopo-based model and businesswoman, Katryn Barwise (22), took the third runner up, Miss Fire, title. Barwise is the proud owner of a Limpopo-based youth development organisation and as a Finalist she worked extensively with school learners of all ages on numerous environmental education programmes.

Other highlights of the evening included the announcement of the three Miss Earth South Africa Ambassadors for 2013, Carmen Loureiro (23) from the beautiful Ekurhuleni suburb of Bedfordview, Makgomo Sebesho (25), originally from Limpopo who now hails from Gauteng’s West Rand, and Nicole Laxton (19), a photographer and budding artist, also from Bedfordview. The announcement of the Ambassadors came shortly after the announcement of Laxton as the recipient of the Best in Evening Wear, title, and Barwise as the Public Choice recipient, having received in excess of 1,200 votes. Barwise was also awarded the Green Project award, having worked with 1,966 learners in the course of her educational work as part of the programme and having planted 120 trees across the Limpopo Province.

Tsogo Sun, which was announced as the official home of the Miss Earth South Africa in 2012, played host to the National Finalists at the Montecasino Southern Sun Hotel in the week leading up to the Gala event, which was attended by some of SA’s most glamorous and green people. The event was emceed by Jersey Boys heart throb and well-known South African actor, Emmanuel Castis, a long-time friend of the organisation who has helped with many projects and campaigns. Guests were blown away by phenomenal SA entertainment such as the power house that is Lonehill Estate; They describe their music as neon rock and have enjoyed much success with songs like Techno Band, The Green Pocket, Daans, Gangstar and Look Good. Shaun Jacobs made huge waves when he released his single LOVE CAN earlier this year. He was the highest charting SA artist on the local iTunes chart for 12 weeks and was part of the line up alongside operatic song bird Nombuso Ndlandla. Celebrities in attendance included Garnier Ambassador TV personality Connie Ferguson, former Miss Earth South Africa winners Kayan Leung, Nondyebo Dwingwa, Matapa Maila, Nancy Rebelo and celebrity faces such as Edith Venter and Shona Ferguson.

This year’s programme was hotly contested, with hundreds of entries received earlier in the year; the organisation took 80 young ladies through to the Regional Finalist round, which was announced in May. After two months of educational and greening projects that number was cut to 25 National Semi-Finalists, who spent a week greening Cape Town and Johannesburg with Reliance Compost and Tsogo Sun in early July. The announcement of the 16 National Finalists on the 15 July marked just over a month to the announcement of a young lady who will go on to represent South Africa at the international Miss Earth in South East Asia later this year. The organisation holds hands with its principal partners, Consol, Tsogo Sun, Imperial Toyota, SAPPI, and Reliance Compost, who keep the team 100% Carbon Neutral.

More about the Miss Earth South Africa:

Since planting their 20,000th tree in 2012, the Miss Earth South Africa organisation has come a long way, having recently returned from a landmark trip to the West African state of Côte d’Ivoire where they joined the 2012 International Miss Earth winner, TerezaFajksova and to launch the Miss Earth Côte d’Ivoire franchise. The Miss Earth SA team also attended the official United Nations Environmental Programme World Environment Day celebrations in that country, where they planted 20 trees at the University of Cocody in Abidjan. On 8 June the team joined forces with local NGOs, UNEP, UNESCO, the UNDP and the Ivorian Minister of Environment in cleaning the beaches of Grand Bassam, just outside Abidjan.

The Miss Earth South Africa’s leadership was recently in Istanbul, Turkey where they chosen to attended the Al Gore Climate Reality Leadership Corps. The Leadership Corps event was led by former US Vice President Al Gore, founder ofthe Climate Reality Project, who trained participants to deliver the climate change presentationmade famous in his globally acclaimed documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. As members of the Leadership Corps global network, Catherine and Ella Bella joined a select group of diverse, passionate, and talented activists from around the world.

The organisation was also honoured earlier this year by the Department of Trade and Industry, Proudly South African and Brand SA when they received the inaugural South African Premier Business Award in the Young Entrepreneur Category. On receiving the award, Eco-preneur, Constantinides, was humbled and honoured and said, “It’s a collaborative effort. We have been able to achieve our objectives because of an amazing team and incredible partners. This award is dedicated to all who have believed in my dreams and the green future I believe we can all share in.”

Over the years the Programme has secured endorsements from a range environmental bodies including the Minister of Environmental Affairs, several green agencies such as SANParks, SANEDI, WWF, SANCCOB, and Cape Nature and is supported by the Department of Basic Education, as well as City of Cape Town, and the eThekwini Municipality to name a few.

Why beautiful women you may ask?

This platform creates ambassadors and spokeswomen that people aspire to be like, people admire and children look up to. The programme has grown over the years from one success to the next, making a huge difference to people, communities with which it works and the environment. What better role model than a beautiful and intelligent, young South African woman, someone who has a green message that you want to take up and make your own. Children are in awe of these young ladies, and are like sponges in their presence, absorbing every word they say.

The dynamic young woman who is named the 2013 Miss Earth South Africa will receive the use of a Prius Hybrid from IMPERIAL Toyota for the year of her reign. She will receive prizes from David Green Eyewear, leading South African designers Werner Dey, Craig Jacobs, JJ Schoeman and GerritPienaar, gifts from Garnier, Cadbury, Reel Gardening, ESSE, ZANDO, Lorna Jane active wear designed by women for women, Healing Earth, Hemporium and Crystal Forum as well as hair treatments and styling by leading Sandton-based salon, Bijan Boutique Hair and Elchim.This coupled with dental care from Sandton Dental Studio, will ensure that the Miss Earth SA will look and feel good wherever she goes. Earth Pro-Biotics, Carbon Track and Fourways Air-conditioning, will equip the winner’s home so that she can instantly adopt a greener lifestyle in her day-to-day living, other green gadgets including the latest technology from SAMSUNG, African Organics, LED gadgets from Eurolux. She will also receiveGepardissimadesignerjewellery to ensure that she departs for the International Miss Earth feeling glamorous and green. This year sees the exciting new partnership with SWEAT1000 the new exercise experience that has taken the country by storm. SWEAT1000 will keep the ambassadors fit and strong to tackle their exciting journey ahead.

For more on this exciting story visit their website,, follow Miss Earth South Africa on Twitter (@missearth_sa) or Like them on Facebook (


Tuesday, August 13th, 2013


Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Katryn Barwise – My designer sponsor for my Miss Earth SA Gala Gown

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Nico Willoughby-Smith is one of Limpopo’s Top designers and he is sponsoring my dress for the Miss Earth SA Gala. I showed him my ideas and he designed the dress especially for me! Thank you so much Nico for this amazing sponsorship.

Lucy Purdon: Down to Earth – Your Invited

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

As one of the 16 National Miss Earth South Africa finalists for 2013, I have made it my business to turn Joburg’s northern suburbs green this Women’s Day! I’m hosting a stylish fundraising event called ‘Down To Earth – with an essence of green’ at Tokyo Star in Greenside on August 8th to raise awareness for the national green causes that I support through the Miss Earth SA organisation.

Everyone is invited to join me at 7pm on August 8th – ahead of Women’s Day – for an evening of live South African music and entertainment to celebrate the green consciousness of our generation and to enjoy the sounds of local talent like acoustic band, Rob Stewart and MIXFM DJ, Mr Meen.

100% of the R50 cover charge will be donated to the Miss Earth South Africa charities, and as a result the whole event serves to raise funds for causes such as the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), FreeMe, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind and SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds).

The event is my creation in response to the ultimate assignment given to the national finalists by the Miss Earth South Africa and I’ve invested myself in raising the support required to make it happen. This event has been made possible because of my wonderful Down to Earth supporters who have sponsored everything from the venue to the incredible prizes to help raise awareness about conserving our natural environment. All of my sponsors are making a difference in their own unique ways! I am proud to be associated with every one of them.

The event has been widely supported by sponsors and donors and offers more than R15,000 worth of prizes which will be given away throughout the evening. As the venue sponsor, Tokyo Star is a great supporter of environmental initiatives, while the African Angels (an NPO concerned with sustainability and enterprise development), Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor, SKYY Vodka, Skye Photography, Clarins, Karoospace, Destiny Magazine and Karoo Comfort Zone have all come to the party and sponsored prizes because they strongly believe in the cause!

My long-term intention is to mobilise my generation to be the change that they want to see in the world and to make every day Earth Day – starting with encouraging people to make small changes to the way they do things. For example, if you’re not a vegetarian, I encourage meat free Mondays, to save electricity, unplug appliances not in use and have candlelight dinners, and don’t drink water out of plastic bottles – drink tap water and choose glass.

For further information about the Down to Earth with an essence of green event on August 8th contact me on Twitter @LucyPurdonSA.