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Mzansi girls chat

Jeanitta has been married to James (72) for 45 years and they live in Johannesburg.

Read more: Basetsana Kumalo no longer Miss SA judge after ‘unfortunate accident’ “When they arrive they initially take a step back because I’m strict at the beginning . “Fortunately I always have a needlework kit on hand, and I sewed the dress while it was on her.She was the team member who also saw to it that, when it was needed, there were headache tablets and cups of tea on hand.“One day I got a call from the director of the production team who said: ‘We need you to help with the girls.’ I protested: ‘But I’m not qualified for that.’ He just said: ‘But you’re a mom and grandmother – those are the only qualifications you need’!When the 12 finalists are chosen she works with them unassisted.Jeanitta smiles as she recalls how one group organised an informal prize-giving night for her and the other chaperone. I won the prize for the most loving person who always cares.And when the new Miss South Africa is crowned on 19 March, she’ll be the 10th beauty she’s gone the course with for months.

Her duties include supporting the winner in the initial stages to handle the pressure of media interview, for example.

Sixty-seven-year-old Jeanitta has been the chaperone of this beauty pageant’s finalists for 10 years.

She ensure they get to all their appointments and work sessions on time.

You don’t want to get a bad name as a nasty person and you try to handle situations diplomatically. You can’t make bad friends because your enemy could be your roommate tomorrow.

I walked past him and whispered, ‘Í didn’t know you had a wife’.” Do the lovely young women ever get bitchy towards one another? The women usually remain good friends long after the competition.” The highlight of her career was when Rolene was crowned Miss World in 2014.

The most beautiful women in the land have cried on her shoulder on occasion – and she’s privy to their deepest secrets and greatest joys.