The second lieutenant in the South African Military Health Services will be participating in the international beauty contest in November because current Miss SA Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters will be unable to attend as she will be competing in the Miss Universe contest around the same time.
Although Van Heerden, who is also a medical doctor in Cape Town, didn’t win the Miss SA title earlier this year, she says she has what it takes to bring the crown home.
“When I came second in Miss SA I didn’t take it as a loss, but rather as an opportunity, and I have been keeping myself ready.”
This attitude has paid off, because the 26-year-old beauty has already started preparing for the prestigious pageant.
“I was ecstatic and nervous at the same time when I heard that I would be competing in Miss World, but I’m ready for it.”
She told The Star that she had known about her participation in the competition for about a month now and that she had already started working towards it.
“I still have a full-time job, so I wake up at around 5am every morning to exercise and then go to work.
“When I come home in the evenings, the mental preparations continue, and together with a team, we work on my wardrobe and do some pageant coaching.”
Pageant coach and fashion stylist Werner Wessels and Miss South Africa stylist Noreen Kajee-Vareta will assist Van Heerden ahead of her departure for China.
She believes that she is a strong contender in the beauty competition because she is living proof of the Miss World theme, which is "beauty with a purpose".
“I serve my country through my work in the military and as a doctor. I’m simply going to the competition as myself, and I believe that it will be enough.
“Women are multifaceted beings and I want the world to know that we can be strong, beautiful, soft, kind and smart all at the same time. We can be whoever we want to be.”
She added that she wants to use the Miss World platform to spread a proudly South African message.
“I enjoy the way South Africans have the ability to embrace diversity and I want to show the world that differences can be good.”
She also wants to be a role model for girls and to demonstrate to them that anything is possible through hard work.
“My life motto is if you dream big and you are the hardest worker in the room, you can turn any obstacle into a launching platform.”
The 67th Miss World contest will be taking place at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China on November 18.
Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle will crown her successor at the end of the event.
Claudia Henkel, the public relations manager for Sun International, which is the licence holder of Miss SA, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Adè will be taking part in Miss World as she has all the necessary qualities to take the title: intelligence, integrity and beauty.”