SUN CITY, SUNDAY MARCH 30: A radiant Rolene Strauss has been crowned Miss South Africa 2014 at a glittering ceremony held at the Sun City Superbowl, presented by Sun International and sponsored by Cell C.
Runners-up are Ziphozakhe Zokufa from the Eastern Cape (1st Princess) and Limpopo’s Matlala Mokoko (2nd Princess).
An excited and overwhelmed Strauss – a medical student from Bloemfontein – said she was truly humbled and grateful to win the title and to be the first to wear the glittering new Palesa crown designed for the pageant.
In her Miss South Africa acceptance speech Strauss said: “Oh, how I love South Africa! I can live, speak, learn and love freely. My dreams are developed and become reality here. Our country is my pride and my purpose has and will always lie within it.
“Not only does the Miss South Africa title have the ability to take me places, but I will also learn from the women who walked this path before me. I am who I am today because of our country and the opportunities I have received from her generous hand. For me this will be a year of giving back; giving thanks and being a true example of the potential women and all South Africans can have in our country.
“My passion for Miss South Africa and health is connected. Together with the sponsors’ initiatives such as Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day, which I will be putting my name to, I’d love to get different health disciplines involved and emphasise the importance of women’s health and its empowering effect on our everyday lives. We are capable of so much more when we are healthy; physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Sun International’s Alison McKie said: “I think the new Miss South Africa is truly representative of the Rainbow Nation and we are sure she will go on to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of many South Africans as this country celebrates 20 years of democracy.”
Says Suzette van der Merwe, Executive: Commercial Communications Cell C: “Congratulations to the newly crowned Miss South Africa 2014. Rolene embodies Cell C’s ‘Believe’ manifesto – that if you can dream it you can achieve it. At Cell C our vision is to support bold, confident and beautiful women. May this year’s winner inspire a nation and make a difference.”
As Miss South Africa 2014 Strauss has won cash, a car and products valued at more than R1.3 million. She also gets thousands of rands in cash and study bursaries to award to South Africans that she meets during her reign. Cell C is also giving the winner access to R200 000 to spend on random acts of kindness.
The Miss South Africa judges were Amy Kleinhans-Curd, crowned Miss South Africa in 1992; magazine editor, poet and writer, Kojo Baffoe; TV presenter, model and cosmetics brand ambassador Bonang Matheba; high-profile radio personality and TV presenter Anele Mdoda and Pnina Fenster, editor of Glamour magazine.
The magnificent, modern platinum Miss SA crown has been named Palesa and was especially created for the Miss SA pageant by Jack Friedman Jewellers. The precious metal in the crown comes from Anglo American Platinum.
MISS SA PRIZE PACKAGE
The Miss SA 2014 prize winner’s package includes:
- A Volvo V40 T3 – R335 000
- Use of a fully furnished and serviced apartment for the year of her reign – R240 000
- Africology product and spa services – R130 000
- Sun International cash prize – R120 000
- Call It Spring shoes – R120 000
- Exclusive Dry Cleaners services – R100 000
- Smashbox makeup – R90 000
- Professional Impressions image and etiquette training – R80 000
- Sun International Dreams all-expenses paid getaway – R80 000
- Cell C – R60 000 airtime contract
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 inch tablet – R4 000
Cell C is also giving the winner access to R200 000 to spend on random acts of kindness.
Varsity College has donated two bursaries valued at R330 000 for Miss South Africa to award to two economically disadvantaged students to study a full degree or diploma qualification on a full time basis for a maximum of three years at Varsity College. There are also 10 short learning programme bursaries for Miss SA to award to NGOs or charitable institutions valued at R150 000.
ROLENE STRAUSS Q&A
Name: Rolene Strauss
Region: I’m currently living in Bloemfontein (Free State), but I’m originally from a small town called Volksrust in Mpumalanga.
Occupation: Medical student at the University of the Free State.
Previous beauty competitions/pageants won: Elite Model Look South Africa 2007; Miss Diaz 2010 and Miss Shimla Varsity Cup 2011.
Why did you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role?
When someone says “South Africa” I get goose bumps. I have this fire of passion burning inside of me for our country. The opportunities I have received have made me who I am today and I’ve realised that there is so much to give; to our country and our people. Miss South Africa is all about giving. One of the greatest gifts anyone can receive is the gift of a healthy life. With my passion for giving, people and health, I will be able to contribute to one of the most important things any country desires: health for all.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you?
Jo-Anne Strauss. I remember meeting her as a nine-year-old girl in my hometown, Volksrust. She brought Miss SA to the people and is still making a change in the lives of others. She is the perfect example of a beautiful, strong woman who became Miss SA, went back to university, finished her studies and to this day is using all her opportunities since her crowning 13 years ago. I would love to be one of her successors.
Who are your role models?
Professor Jonathan Jansen, the rector of the University of the Free State, is one the most outspoken, down-to-earth, passionate, people’s persons I’ve met. He is not afraid to stand for what he believes in, he loves what he does and gives of himself to his students. I can testify that he wants the best for his students and supports them in all they do. We can all learn from Prof Jansen. Love what you do, stay humble and let the light shine on others.
Tell us a bit more about your family?
I was blessed with the most amazing and supportive family! My mom studied nursing and my dad medicine at the University of the Free State. He met my mom when she was working in the wards at Universitas Hospital and started charming her. Like a fairy tale, they fell in love, got married and eventually wanted to start a family. After five long years (and most of their savings), I popped out of a test tube. A year after my birth my brother was, as my mom says, “sent from heaven”. We are a very close family and support each other in everything we do. My brother and I grew up in Volksrust. He is a third year Quantity Surveying student at Kovsies as well and plays rugby for the u/21 Griquas team. My dad (from whom I’ve learnt to have a passion for people) is practicing medicine and my beautiful mom is a house wife in Volksrust, Mpumalanga.
What do you do in your spare time?
My mom used to tell me that the more you do, the more you get done. I’ve always been a very active person. I love playing golf, exercising, going to the movies in Bloem (probably because Volksrust doesn’t have a mall or movies), reading inspirational books and listening to educational audio books.
2014 is the year in which SA celebrates its 20th year of democracy – what does that mean to you?
It is another reminder of our rich cultural history, potential, power and diversity. We struggled through our obstacles, stood up after difficult times and gave hope to so many countries where equality is a struggle. This shows us that we are capable of great things and we are resilient.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
We as women have soft and sympathetic souls. We are the ones who give hope, love and comfort. Let us use those qualities.
If you could meet one person as Miss South Africa, who would it be and why?
Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe. She is a trained medical doctor and has a passion for health and giving through the Motsepe family foundation. She is also the chairperson of African Fashion International (AFI) where her dream is to take young people from townships and rural area, give them skills and show them what they can be. She is a true inspiration of what a hard working woman can achieve in South Africa.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m the University of the Free State’s first successful test tube baby.
What are you reading?
Apart from my obstetrics and surgery handbooks, I like reading inspirational books. I’ve recently read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What is on your iPod?
Music is the one thing that can instantly create a certain vibe. I like listening to different music in different situations – golden oldies, country music, Bellamy Brothers, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Ben Howard, Jack Johnson, Mango Groove, Theuns Jordaan, Riana Nel, Retief Burger, Hillsong and Enya to study to.
Your favourite TV show?
The time to watch and follow TV shows is rare, but when I get the chance I like watching Grey’s Anatomy and Bones.
Your favourite meal?
My mom’s oxtail and stamp mielies. It may be because it makes me think of home and family time or simply because it’s just so yummy!