The Student Culture Committee (Stuku) hosted the first ever Mr and Miss Tuks pageant last year but due to unforeseen financial and managerial challenges, Stuku has decided to discontinue the pageant.

Stuku initiated the Mr and Miss Tuks pageant last year to create a beauty contest that caters for both men and women and approached Modelling South Africa (MSA) to assist them with the event. But due to escalating costs, poor ticket sales and the postponement of the pageant, a number of sponsors, including MSA, withdrew their support and the winners never received their prizes.

University management told Perdeby that it is regrettable that the pageant was unsuccessful and that the expectations created by the external contractors were not met. However, the university was not involved in the pageant. “Although it [the pageant] has been approved in principle by the Dean of Students, the agreements entered into between Stuku and its service providers were not signed by the relevant university authorities as is required,” the university said.

According to the university, Stuku members never informed them about the problems they had encountered at any stage before, during, or after the pageant. “Had these failings come to the attention of the management, the matter could have been dealt with much sooner,” university management said and added that UP approves of Stuku’s decision to discontinue the pageant as it will enable them to better focus their attention on the services they already have in place.

According to Dawie de Villiers, MSA Pro Model coach and photographer who trained the contestants, MSA pulled out solely because of poor communication and organisation on Stuku’s part.

De Villiers confirmed that if Stuku is willing to make the effort, MSA will do their part and sponsor photo shoots for the winners as promised.

“I would never jeopardise future business with UP. [I] would like to complete what we started,” De Villiers said.

Thabane Mkhwebane, Stuku manager, has confirmed that even though Stuku will not continue hosting the pageant they will ensure that all the winners still receive their prizes. “[A]s far as Stuku’s obligation to deliver on its promises is concerned, Stuku will get in touch with the winners of the pageant soon to hand over their prizes,” he said.

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