Miss South Africa, 22-year-old Rolene Strauss, was crowned Miss World 2014 at the pageant’s final in London on yesterday, with an estimated billion viewers watching on television around the globe. It’s been about 40 years, but once again South Africa can lay claim to being home to the fairest of them all, Miss Hungary, Edina Kulcsar, was the runner-up and Miss United States, Elizabeth Safrit, came third in the 64th annual competition, contested by women from 121 countries.
Strauss showed her excitement when she applauded herself in surprise and was presented with the sash by the outgoing Miss World, Megan Young of the Philippines.
The medical student from Bloemfontein, South Africa sat in the winner’s throne as the 2013 champion put the glittering crown on her head before a fireworks finale went off at the ExCeL exhibition centre in east London. “South Africa this is for you,” Strauss said afterwards. “I think I will brace myself for what’s about to happen. It’s a huge responsibility.”
Originally from Mpumalanga, Rolene is currently living in Bloemfontein, studying medicine at the University of the Free State.
Combining her two passions, she says: “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.”
Rolene finds inspiration from Professor Jonathan Jansen, the rector of the University of the Free State. “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.”. – MissSA