Former Miss World and Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss has a lot to say. Ever since her days as a beauty queen, Rolene has gone out of her way to address various social issues and speak up for those who may not have a voice for themselves. Now, however, the star is hoping to continue her process of inspiration by tapping into the every day South African as she readies her debut spoken word album ‘Secrets To My Growth’.

While this may initially seem as a strange direction to head into, this is something Rolene has been thinking about for a long time. “I participated in Miss South Africa as a 19-year-old in 2011 and was vastly unprepared. I also couldn’t speak English very well. I made such a fool of myself when I didn’t understand the question put to me on the final night… But I picked myself up and in less than three years returned to be crowned Miss South Africa and Miss World. This album is about the lessons I learned while growing as a person during that time,” she says.

Spoken word as a genre is defined as poetry intended for performance and while popular overseas, Rolene’s upcoming album is one of the first attempts at locally producing an album in this genre. “We had no-one to learn from or go to for advice. So, in the process, we bumped our heads several times and had to overcome a number of challenges,” Rolene says.

However, while there have been challenges, Rolene is confident in the idea behind the record as the learnings she shares are universal. “[The album] is a compilation of life lessons and stories that I would like to share with people; these are the things I wish I had known when I was younger. The album enabled me to bare my soul in way I have never done before, and to share parts of myself that people have never seen.”

Rolene adds that each track, which is around three to five minutes long, will be accompanied by a video which will be released throughout the album promotion process. “While the videos offer some imaginative interpretations for the messages I’m trying to convey, they are there to plant a seed, not tell a particular story, and are therefore minimalistic. I want people to interpret each message as it applies to them in that moment, at that particular stage of their lives.”

‘Secrets To My Growth’ drops everywhere on the 7th of December.

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