Every year, the Miss South Africa pageant is one of the most anticipated events in the South African entertainment calendar. After a show-stopping event this evening, Tamaryn Green was officially declared as 2018’s Miss South Africa and immediately starts her reign. The 23-year-old medical student from Paarl will receive R3-million in prizes in one of the richest pageants in the world. Green will also be representing South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant at the end of the year.

Runner up was 26-year-old B Comm graduate Thulisa Keyi from East London who took the title Miss World South Africa and who will represent South Africa on the global stage in this competition later this year. She will receive nearly R600 000 in prizes.

I had a chat with the newly-crowned Miss South Africa about the pageant, her plans for the year and I get to know her a bit better with some quick-fire questions.

Congrats on winning Miss South Africa! What are you most looking forward to achieving in the year ahead?

Thank you ! I promise to build on the legacy of all former Miss South Africa title holders and to represent my country with elegance, style, beauty and unwavering commitment. Miss South Africa is so much more than just a competition. It is a calling, an opportunity to give back to the country that has richly provided so much to me so far. As Miss South Africa I will be in a strong position to assist with the reconstruction of a better South Africa. I have always been passionate about making a positive and progressive difference in the lives of others. I grew up being exposed to two very different worlds: That of the fortunate and less fortunate. I want to assist in bringing those worlds together. I believe this can be done by providing equal education to all. Actions speak louder than words. I want to be a voice to those who cannot be heard, a servant and role model to South Africans and to the people of the world at large.

Why did you want to be Miss South Africa and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role?

I entered Miss South Africa because it has been a lifelong dream of mine. At first, I wanted to finish my studies to become a medical doctor but this year my heart guided me to enter the competition. It just felt right. My heart told me: “This Is Your Year”. As Miss South Africa I will be in a strong position to assist with the reconstruction of a better South Africa. I have always been passionate about making a positive and progressive difference in the lives of others. I grew up being exposed to two very different worlds: That of the fortunate and less fortunate. I want to assist in bringing those worlds together. I believe this can be done by providing equal education to all. Actions speak louder than words. I want to be a voice to those who cannot be heard, a servant and role model to South Africans and to the people of the world at large. Importantly, as Miss South Africa I want to inspire and empower women to be the best version of themselves. I want to show them that we have a voice and it can be heard, seen and valued! As a woman I believe there is a golden thread linking all women across the globe. Together we should be able to uplift, inspire, nurture and educate the youth of our world. There is no country like South Africa. It has unique beauty, natural wonder and a diverse nation. In our diversity lies our strength. These are the things we should take prde in and that is what I want to showcase as Miss South Africa! The world must know what it means to be a loyal, proud South African. In the spirit of our anthem “Nkosi Sikilele iAfrika”, God bless Miss South Africa.

What qualities do you believe a Miss South Africa should possess?

Miss South Africa should be kind, compassionate, humble and true to herself and her belief systems. She must be confident, possess good communication skills and relate easily to people. She should be hard working and passionate about representing her country to the world. These are a few of the qualities a Miss South Africa should possess to serve her role and her country with distinction and success.

Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired?

Rolene Strauss. What a wonder woman! She has managed to win the Miss SA and Miss World crown, qualify as a doctor, get married and start a family. These achievements have been on my list of goals since I was a young girl. I always wondered how I’d manage to achieve it. She showed me that it can be done. She showed us that with hard work and dedication one can achieve anything you put your heart to. She has done amazing work through the Beauty with a Purpose Campaign and empowered and encouraged women across the world to reach for their goals. In conclusion, I believe she is genuinely kind and caring. She is the epitome of beauty with a purpose.

Who are your role models?

My mom and dad. My mom is the most supportive and hard-working person I know. She keeps the household running while juggling her job as a grade R teacher. She puts everyone before herself and this is truly inspiring. In support of my dad she clothes her family and makes sure that they are well fed and nurtured. She deserves a spa-weekend! One day I’ll give it to her. My dad is the strongest, most persistent man I know. He has taught me the ways of life through every day story telling. He made me a better, stronger woman by opening my eyes to the beauties and imperfections of this world. He is our family’s protector and will move mountains to ensure our happiness. He has played a vital role in moulding me to be the kind, caring and independent women I am today.

Tell us a bit more about your family.

My dad is a curriculum advisor who is passionate about his subject Life Sciences and the wellbeing and success of his educators and learners. My mom is a grade R school teacher, also passionate about developing the minds of young children. My sister is 26 years old and a qualified physiotherapist while my “baby” brother is 19 years old and currently in his second year studying BA Humanities.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love hiking, swimming and spending time with friends and family. These are my happy places. I am a nature lover. One of my missions this year is to complete as many hikes as possible. There is something spectacular about finding yourself surrounded by nothing but God’s beautiful creation. It’s therapeutic and very satisfying when you reach the finish line. Hiking helps with physical health, fitness and mental health. I’ve also always been a water baby. I love the water, whether I am swimming in a dam, pool or the ocean. Lastly, there is nothing more satisfying than spending time with family and friends. A day spent simply chatting away with them, listening to stories over a cup of tea or sitting around a fire on a winters day leaves my heart happy and content. My family and friends are my biggest support and any day with them keeps me motivated for the next.

What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?

You are beautiful just the way you are. I believe that the young women of today are challenged by the pressures of social media. Social media paints a skew picture of what a woman should be like to be accepted in society, to be “beautiful”. This damages their self-image, robs them of their self-esteem and often force them to fake the way they look or interact with others. I want the young women of South Africa to know that we are all unique with different strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is perfect. There is a place for all of us to make a difference. Do not confine to the norm, stand out like a shooting star.

Now that you have won the Miss South Africa crown and were able to meet two people, who would it be and why?

Angelina Jolie, she is not only beautiful but very talented. Besides winning many awards as an actress she dedicates her talents to various causes including conservation, education and women rights. I am inspired by her advocacy for refugees and dedication to a greater cause. She is the embodiment of a powerful women. Also, President Cyril Ramaphosa. He is currently trying to re-establish the legacy of Nelson Mandela who is my personal hero. My passion is to assist and empower the youth of our country. Young people and bettering their education was a key focus for Mandela and I believe that I can accomplish this by interacting with President Ramaphosa.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I don’t like chocolate. I love popcorn. I eat it morning, noon and night.

What are you reading?

Romance and drama novels

What music are you listening to?

I don’t have a specific genre of music I take to. I enjoy any music I can potentially dance to and yes, I have a weakness for love songs (Ed Sheeran forever).

Your favourite TV shows?

Grey’s Anatomy and Friends.

Your favourite meal?

I have so many. My top three would be my mom’s traditional Sunday lunch, braai with braai broodjie and sushi.

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