Former Miss SA Basetsana Kumalo has become a beacon of hope for many young South African women. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/ANA Pics

Former Miss SA Basetsana Kumalo has become a beacon of hope for many young South African women. 

The second black Miss SA who was crowned soon after the country was a fledgling democracy, Kumalo has paved the way for many to follow.

In her autobiography 'Bassie – My Journey of Hope', she documents her life journey, including her relationships with mentors like Nelson Mandela. 

She also shares the secrets of her success and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way. In the book, Kumalo reveals another side to her by revealing the pressures of being in a high-profile marriage to Romeo Kumalo. And then there's the couple's heartbreaking struggle to have a family.

In 2007, she lost her twins when 20 weeks pregnant. The journey of conception and then loss was a hard one for her to bear, especially in the public eye.

During a recent interview on CliffCentral, she touched a bit more on the subject. 

"In this book, you've pulled the curtain back a little and let people see some pretty intimate areas," commented Gareth Cliff. 

When asked about her fertility struggles and dealing with the miscarriage, Kumalo said: "It was beyond painful to battle your fertility journey in public. One day you're bee written about that you're having a baby. The next day they say 'well, she lost the baby.'"

"You blame yourself and say 'maybe I should have rested a little bit more; maybe I shouldn't have taken on that assignment.' It makes you doubt yourself, because in our culture it's such a funny thing. After nine months, everyone says 'so, where's the baby?' as if the baby is somebody that you pick up from a retail store."

Kumalo also mentioned some people's insensitivity once you've lost a baby. "I had to find it within me to first of all not lose hope and faith that I will be a mother of many. Even when it didn't look possible, I refused to give up," she added.

Today, she is mother to three children - uShaka Kgositsile Emmanuel Kumalo, Bontle ba Morena Jasmine Kumalo and Nkosinathi Gabriel Kumalo.