Meeting Queen Rolene!
|FINAL BOW: Rolene takes the stage for her farewell speech.|
I felt like I was about to burst with pride. PHOTO COURTESY OF
LEONARDO RODRIGUES AND GLOBAL BEAUTIES!
I pretty much knew my Miss World experience was over, but I was not ready to let go. I have been a fan for 24 years and have only attended 3 times. I did not feel fulfilled at all. I wanted more. It was late, after midnight, and I decided to just stick around for ten more minutes before I called time on my Miss World experience. It was just about then that I heard the elevator open and saw three gorgeous ladies in red exit the elevator. There she was: Rolene Strauss!
Rolene was on her way to the coronation gala accompanied by her good friend, Megan Young, Miss World 2013, and Azra Akin, Miss World 2002. I never really expected to bump into her, so after a moment of hesitation, I decided to call her name as she was walking away. She immediately turned around. My first thoughts were: WOW! Tall. Perfect shape. Gorgeous. No. Absolutely flawless. Perfect. She hesitated for a second, before calling my name, rushed towards me to give me a hug and then she started chatting like we were old friends.
I must say that the whole experience was surreal. Rolene is even more impressive in real life than in photos. She is also even kinder, lovelier, sweetier and pretty much every adjective that I have ever used to describe her. She does not have any airs or graces. You can tell that she is just a genuinely nice person. She immediately told me that she was happy to meet me as she had tried to call me, but my phone was off. Her stylist, Werner, had given her my number. All I can say to this is: Wow. Rolene Strauss is the real deal. She heard from Werner how much this meant to me and she followed through.
She called Megan Young over and said: “This is the guy I have been telling you about. The guy who wrote such nice things about me.” I thought I was going to pass out then and there. Megan was just as kind and sweet. She told me that Rolene had mentioned that she was touched by my posts about her. Now at this point I have to say, both these girls are righ up there with Aishwarya Rai. 2013 and 2014 gave us two of the most spectacular and gracious Miss Worlds in the history of this contest.
I spoke to Rolene in Afrikaans and we chatted for a bit. I was probably rambling a bit, because I do not speak Afrikaans that often anymore, but it was nice to just chat to her, congratulate her in person and wish her well for her wedding (WHICH IS THIS WEEK BTW!). I also told Megan that it was so beautiful to watch her comfort the contestants on stage and that it was one of the highlights of the nights for me. She replied that she truly knows how that moment feels, so she just did what she could to help them through it.
Rolene then said that we had to take a photo together. My phone had died, so I couldn't take photos with my phone. I seriously wanted to kick myself. But she took them with her phone and promised to send them to me via Werner (which she did). She also called Megan Young and Azra Akin over and said she wanted them to take a photo with me too. Once again, she exceeded my expectations. Megan was so sweet and even offered to take a few on her phone and send them to Rolene. I can’t really remember much of these moments when I took photos with them. I felt lightheaded – too much beauty to handle. I just know that both Megan and Rolene made me feel super special. They were both fully engaged when I was talking to them and that is something I really appreciate. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these two young women and I am so honored that I got to meet them. It was a moment that I will treasure forever though.
After a good bye hug and wishing her all the best for the future, I watched them make their way to the coronation ball. As I watched Rolene walking away, chatting and laughing, enjoying this important night, I felt so proud. I also felt overcome with joy. It makes me happy when good people like her reach the top and the best part of it all: it's only the very beginning. It was just such a happy moment for me.
I knew it was time to go. My evening had been made. This whole experience had suddenly become totally worth it.
(TO BE CONTINUED…)