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FREE State medical student Rolene Strauss is the new Miss South Africa. She beat 11 other gorgeous women for the coveted title at a pageant held at Sun City’s Superbowl on Sunday evening.
The annual contest was short and sweet, with the finalists changing from one outfit to the next in between performances from house group Mi Casa, vocalist Bucie and iTunes sensation Matthew Mole.
Dance routines from legendary choreographer Somizi Mhlongo and his energetic crew brought the show to life.
The Eastern Cape’s Ziphozakhe Zokufa was named runner-up and first princess, and Matlala Mokoko from Limpopo was crowned second princess.
For the past six weeks, South Africans have followed the lives of all 12 contestants on the reality show The Road to Miss South Africa on Mzansi Magic.
The show, which was hosted by Elana Afrika, saw the contestants participate in various activities that tested their character and abilities.
The reality show was judged by radio DJ and TV personality Anele Mdoda and Glamour magazine editor Pnina Fenster.
For the live finale, to help make the final decision on which woman had the qualities to represent South Africa to the world, the two were joined by Miss SA 1992 Amy Kleinhans-Curd, media “it” girl Bonang Matheba and Destiny Man magazine editor Kojo Baffoe.
The Miss Congeniality title went to Abigail de Jager from Mpumalanga.
Before the crowning, Mi Casa aptly sang their popular tune Heavenly Sent, a ditty about women with angelic faces.
Strauss walked away with prizes valued at more than R1.3 million, including a car, a fully furnished apartment, an airtime contract, an all-expenses-paid getaway, a cash prize of R120 000, and many more goodies she will enjoy throughout her reign.
Cell C, the official sponsor of the show, also gave Strauss R200 000 to spend on random acts of kindness.
Varsity College also came on board with the sharing by giving the newly crowned queen two bursaries valued at R330 000 to give to two disadvantaged students to study a full degree or diploma qualification at the college.
Strauss told the judges that beauty had purpose and that it was important to be comfortable in one’s skin and to love oneself. This was after Strauss was asked whether the swimsuit section of the competition objectified women.
Outgoing Miss SA Marilyn Ramos expressed gratitude to her support system and advised the new beauty queen to work with passion.
Some faces in attendance at Sunday night’s show were Idols presenter ProVerb, actor Vusi Kunene, businesswoman Johanna Mukoki and socialite Jen Su.