THESE university students show that they have both beauty and brains.

Shandre Hoffman, a University of Joburg student, was crowned Miss UJ Varsity Cup as part of the university’s rugby competition.

Along with Mohau Matinketsa, the first princess, and Mavelous Mhlanga, the second princess, the sociology masters student was crowned in a ceremony that took place at the UJ Stadium in Joburg.

Hoffman (22), who lives at Eikenhof in the south of Joburg, said she had entered the Miss UJ University Cup contest to be a strong advocate of social change.

“It is our responsibility to better the lives of those around us.

“If I have the privilege to be associated with this prestigious platform, I can make a real difference on a larger scale.

“I think sport builds character. It was through my own engagement in sport that I learnt the importance of teamwork. You are only as strong as your weakest link which is why it benefits everyone to build up those around you.”

A personal experience in 2017 also allowed Hoffman to learn how to handle the tough times in life.

“I had hormone replacement therapy, which made me gain weight and break out in acne.

“My confidence took a hard knock and there were times when I didn’t even want to leave my house but I learned to love myself in spite of my flaws.

“I saw this as an opportunity to continue to grow and love myself, while also spreading the message of body positivity to others.”

While her long-term ambition is to become a professor of sociology at the University of Joburg, Hoffman is already working to make a difference.

“I have benefited immensely from the opportunities afforded to me by UJ,” she said.

“As a result, I have started an outreach programme with youth at Weiler’s Farm, a rural informal settlement.

“I donate stationery and books to the youth as well as share study tips with them in an effort to keep them in school so that one day they might be able to go to university and get an education that changes their lives, as it did mine.

“One day, I hope to start a non-profit organisation that provides staples that underprivileged students need.”