Tuks 2012 RAG Queen Mudinda Denga competed in the 25th annual World Miss University pageant hosted in South Korea on 11 December 2012. The final-year mining engineering student was crowned Miss Speech 2012 at the event.

World Miss University (WMU) is an international contest that has been held annually in celebration of the announcement of International Year by the United Nations in 1986. The pageant is organised by the International Association of University Presidents in order to select a representative of the WMU Peace Corps.

After being crowned Miss SA Campus in October last year, Denga was awarded the opportunity to participate in the WMU pageant. Denga’s dream to become a philanthropist was furthered in the two-week judging process of the pageant as the contestants had to participate in various community projects in Seoul, South Korea.

The biggest challenges that Denga experienced were the cold weather conditions, as it was snowing throughout her stay, as well as adjusting to the Korean diet of kimchi (fermented cabbage seasoned with chilli). She cheerfully added that she had to learn how to use chopsticks during the pageant. Denga also told Perdeby that there was a communication barrier as most of the organisers and some of the participants had trouble understanding English and she admits, “I got creative.”

Denga was voted to read the UN Peace Declaration at the coronation evening. She was also chosen to be an honorary guest at the lighting ceremony at the pageant. Her speech included her opinions on global peace as well as her community work in South Africa, such as her involvement with various non-profit organisations (NPOs) such as Pledge a Pad, TuksRAG and Doctors Without Borders.

Denga explained how honoured and blessed she felt to not only represent the university as a Tukkie but as a South African representative of our vibrant and diverse nation. As the Miss SA Campus winner, Denga has the opportunity of competing in Miss South Africa this year.

She has aspirations of establishing businesses and NPOs to fuel her philanthropic work. She adds, “All that I do, whether pageantry, mining or anything else, is [with] a mindset of servanthood.”

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