Meet Anastasia K Boney, The First Trans Miss Drag South Africa

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The triumphant Anastasia K-Boney in her first walk on stage as Miss Drag South Africa 2024 (Photos: Supplied)

A 33-year-old Northern Cape police constable has broken new ground by becoming the first transgender woman to earn the coveted Miss Drag South Africa title.

The Miss Drag South Africa crowning gala took centre stage at the prestigious Artscape in Cape Town on Saturday night as finalists from across the country competed for the title.

The highlight of the event was, of course, the crowning of Anastasia K Boney, a constable in the South African Police Service, hailing from Springbok, Northern Cape, as the 2024 Queen.

“When I heard my name, I felt cold and warm, shocked but happy. All the hard work I put in finally paid off, and I was reminded that I am indeed favoured and chosen to serve a purpose,” Boney says of winning the crown.

Trans Women Taking Up Space

Ahead of the grand finale, each finalist underwent a closed-door interview with the panel of judges, presenting their “Drag with a Purpose Project,” a segment that held significant weight in the competition.

Boney impressed the judges with her ‘KHO LAT OZ XHORO’ project, which she describes as an “Afrikaapse, pure Namakwaland, queer talkshow” that aims to “spread a message of hope… through storytelling of individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.”

She acknowledges that her win as a transgender woman is of deep significance for a community that’s often marginalised and erased.

“It is for me of utmost importance that trans women start taking up space in social activities,” Boney tells MambaOnline, noting that historically, “trans women’s engagement in beauty pageants were socially excluded due to society’s invalidation of our identity.”

She expresses hope that trans representation in spaces like Miss Drag South will increase public awareness about trans lives and experiences and bolster acceptance of LGBTQIA+ communities.

Her crowning was also a win for her province, says Boney. “The Northern Cape is a vast province with immense talent amongst our young people often left behind or completely forgotten about. Me being Miss Drag South Africa shows the world what we as a province can achieve if given the platforms to do so.”

Making Change in the SAPS

Boney reveals that while working in the police as an out trans woman did initially have its stumbling blocks, she is respected and accepted by her colleagues.

“There have been challenges, but I overcame them by educating my colleagues and the public, not only about transgender identities but about the LGBTQIA+ community at large. Not only is the LGBTQIA+ community beginning to take up space and leadership roles but we are becoming the change many organisations in South Africa need,” Boney affirms.

She won a prize package valued at R110,000 including, among other prizes, R20,000 cash; a hotel stay, cosmetics and makeup, a designer dress, and educational bursaries.

The Class of 2024. From back left to right: Empress, Marcha Garcia, Whashiela Xholiswa Xholelwa Bahlekazi, LaPont, Larissa Gordon, Viola Angel Sicarias, Shuvandre Rodriguez. Front: Ycer (1st Princess) and The Queen: Anastasia K-Boney

A Celebration of Diversity, Empowerment and Talent,

Ycer from Tzaneen, Limpopo, secured the title of 1st runner-up, while Empress, a law student from the Free State, rounded out the top three finalists.

The evening included performances from entertainers such as Angel Lalamore, Envic, Madison Starr, and Haus of Vahlour. The judging panel was comprised of Belinda Qaqamba, Julian Cranford Naidoo, Reno Horn, Zakhele Mgobhozi and Roché Kester.

Queen Enigma von Hamburg, the Pageant Director, expressed her gratitude to the Artscape Theatre and announced the return of the pageant to the same venue in 2025.

“The Miss Drag South Africa crowning gala was not merely a pageant; it was a celebration of diversity, empowerment, and talent, reaffirming the importance of inclusivity and representation in the realm of beauty and entertainment,” says von Hamburg.

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