Rolene Strauss (born 22 April 1992) is a South African beauty queen who was crowned Miss South Africa 2014, and in December the same year won Miss World 2014 in London. She is the second South African woman to win the Miss World pageant, but the third to hold the title
Strauss was born in Volksrust, South Africa, the daughter of Theresa, a nurse, and Hennie Strauss, a doctor. In the year 2000, at 8 years of age, Rolene Strauss witnessed the crowning of Jo-Ann Strauss (unrelated) as Miss SA. She dreamed of winning the title herself, and she did so in March 2014.
Rolene is a fourth year medical student at the University of Freestate, but is originally from Volksrust, Mpumalanga
When Strauss was 15 years old, she competed in and won the national selection for the Elite Model Look International. She is the youngest winner nationally and beat 11 other contestants vying for the same title.
Strauss placed in the top 15 of the Elite Model Look International 2007 after competing with 55 contestants. That year, the winner was Belgian model Jennifer Messelier, followed by Dutch model Ymre Stiekema and Czech model Hana Jirickova. Notable contestants from the Elite Model Look include Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour and Gisele Bündchen. None of these women won in the year they competed, but still attained critical and international success. Strauss placed in the top 5 of Miss South Africa 2011 when Melinda Bam became the new titleholder of Miss SA 2011.She returned two years later to compete in the 2013 Pageant and was crowned as Miss South Africa 2014 representing the Free State city of Bloemfontein on March 30, 2014 at a ceremony held at the Sun City Super Bowl, South Africa.
As the winner of Miss South Africa 2014, Rolene has been expected to compete at Miss Universe 2014 and Miss World 2014. Traditionally the winner of the pageant competes at both of the pageants. Since she was crowned Miss World 2014 in December 2014, she could not compete at Miss Universe 2014. Ziphozakhe Zokufa, the 1st Runner-up of the Miss South Africa pageant, replaced her as Miss South Africa 2014 and Ziphozakhe will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant in January 2015.
Strauss won the Miss World 2014 title on December 14, 2014. The pageant was held in the Excel Arena in London, UK.She is the third South African to hold the Miss World title and the second to win it outright. She is the first South African crowned Miss World in 40 years and the first citizen of an African country to be crowned Miss World since 2001, when Agbani Darego became the first and only black woman from Africa to win the title(the first black winner having been Jennifer Hosten of Grenada, winner of the 1970 contest).
Combining her two passions, she says: “Miss South Africa is all about giving. One of the greatest gifts anyone can receive is the gift of a healthy life. With my passion for giving, people and health, I will be able to contribute to one of the most important things any country desires: health for all.”
Rolene finds inspiration from Professor Jonathan Jansen, the rector of the University of the Free State. “He is not afraid to stand for what he believes in, he loves what he does and gives of himself to his students. I can testify that he wants the best for his students and supports them in all they do. We can all learn from Prof Jansen. Love what you do, stay humble and let the light shine on others.”
7 Things You May Not Know About Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss
South Africa’s reigning beauty queen tells us her natural hair colour and why she entered South Africa’s most prestigious pageant.
1“I went to Volksrust High School in Volksrust, Mpumalanga. People often ask me if I would have wanted to attend a larger school, but I wouldn't change anything about my upbringing. I loved school.”
2“Many people change their visions of what they want to become as they grow older. Mine never changed: I've always known that I would study medicine, just like my father. I was known as ‘Little Dr Strauss’ in town, as I followed my dad everywhere he went.”
3“My hair colour is naturally golden brown. I loved (and still do love) being outside, and the sun gives me golden streaks.”
4“Miss South Africa is all about giving, and that’s why I entered the competition. South Africa is my pride. I am who I am because of our country and the opportunities she has given me. It is now time to start giving back. The pageant is the ideal platform for giving back and making a difference.”
5“I am passionate about women's health and can't wait to sit around a table with the sponsors to combine our visions and make this year the best one ever.”
6“My whole family goes to Hartenbos every December holiday and some of my best childhood memories where made there.”
7“My mother's oxtail with stamp-mielies is my favourite home-cooked meal. We have an old coal stove we use in the winter, and no oxtail can taste better than my mom's, made on that stove.”