10/12/2012. Newly crowned Miss South Africa Marilyn Ramos poses with his brother Rob, mother Yolandi and her father Victor a day after she was crowned. Picture: Masi Losi

BRIDGING the knowledge gap between the older generation and the youth would make for a better, knowledgeable and dependable society. That is what the newly crowned first lady of South African beauty Marilyn Ramos wants to promote during her reign.

The 21-year-old Pretoria interior architecture student says her passion lies with all people who need special attention.

“I am a people’s person and love working with young children and babies, but the elderly need a lot of support because they are often neglected and left alone.”

She planned to help bring about changes in the relationship between old and young, the beauty said.

“If we can build the relationship between young people and the elderly, it will allow the youth to realise the amount of wisdom, knowledge and skills they can harness if only they treated senior citizens with care.”

Ramos hails from Klerksdorp in the North West. On Monday she said that she had adapted well to city life in Pretoria, where she was studying, but had also learnt a lot from the largely Western Cape group of contestants she had spent most of her time with in the past few months of The Road to Miss SA.

“All the girls had a uniqueness about them peculiar to where they come from. The girls from the Western Cape have a special way to deal with everything, the way they speak and conduct themselves, I learnt so much from them – stuff I will take away and keep for ever,” she said.

She had also learnt many life lessons: “I look back at the interviews I did before and during the process and realise how much I’ve learnt.”

Ramos will take a gap year from Inscape Design College in the capital where she is studying.

This will enable her to concentrate on carrying out her pageant duties. She said she wanted to focus on these duties and dedicate her energy to making the country and her sponsors proud.

“I’ve grown so much in the months leading to the crowning night. My style, the manner in which I conduct myself, my manner of approach… I realise that I am a brand and have to portray the ideals of the title,” she said.

In the run-up to the finals at the weekend, the 12 finalists were taken through tasks that tested their brains and beauty. And, as judge Sonia Sedibe said, they knew their game.

The line-up this year had been the best the pageant had seen, the actress said.

“The contestants presented themselves as smart, intelligent girls who did not just walk in for the title, but who understood what was expected of them.”

Sedibe said the judging process had not been easy, nor had the eliminations, as they went along.

“The best girl won.”

Ramos said on Monady that she had been growing more excited “as reality sinks in”. The beauty walked away with more than R1-million in prizes, including a new Volvo C30, holiday packages, spa treatments, cosmetics, jewellery and the opportunity to represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant.

[email protected]