Sunday, November 2, 2014

Miss SA Interview: Rolene Strauss Speaks to Leading SA Sunday Newspaper

Leading South African Sunday Newspaper, Rapport, published an interview with the reigning Miss SA, Rolene Strauss, today on the eve of her departure to Miss World. Take a look at what she had to say.

Published in Rapport, Sunday November 2nd


Rolene Strauss will leave for London next week where she will take part in the Miss World Pageant. She spoke to Rapport about community service for doctors, slippers and, yes, world peace.
Rapport: Your year as Miss SA is coming to an end. What have you learned from it?
Rolene Strauss: I've learned that every minute counts. I only have one chance to make a first impression: on a little girl, a grandmother, or an audience. I have also learned that not everyone can get along; I've had to make peace with the fact that I can't always please everyone. The most valuable lesson is that giving is the same (if not better) as receiving.

Rapport: You are on your way to the Miss World Pageant in London. What will you do to make an impression that will set you apart from all the other beautiful ladies?
Rolene Strauss: I will not do anything apart from being exactly who I am, and then hope that they will see the real Rolene.

Rapport: You were the University of the Free State's first successful test tube baby. Has knowing this had an influence on your life?
Rolene Strauss: It has never really made me think differently of myself - perhaps I just realize I could just as easily not have been here, therefore I must embrace every opportunity that comes my way.

Rapport: You put your medical studies on hold to fulfill your duties as Miss SA. Will you continue with your fourth year of medical studies year next year?
Rolene Strauss: There is no doubt in my mind that I will complete my degree; it's part of who I am. This year has been a chance for me to give back to the community; and to create a personal brand in order for my "bigger picture" to be even bigger.

Rapport: How do you feel about compulsory community service for doctors?
Rolene Strauss: I feel that it is a valuable learning environment for young doctors where they can find their feet in the medical profession  in a protected environment. There aren't many doctors in the world that get the opportunity to gain so much practical experience. It is also a way of giving back to the government (that subsidizes a great deal of our study costs).

Rapport: Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Rolene Strauss: My favorite pair is never worn in public. My wool slippers go everywhere with me and they have helped me through freezing Volksrust and Bloemfontein winters, and many weekend pajama study sessions. I've never tried counting how many pairs of shoes I have - I'm just grateful for everything I have.

Rapport: Don't you think the days of beauty pageants, like Miss South Africa, are long gone?
Rolene Strauss: There are many people that ask this question. It's like asking, "Don't you think the days of taking part in any competition are long gone?" We've been told not to hide our talents. Just like playing rugby well, running fast, and singing beautifully are considered talents, this too should be considered a talent. Pageants, like Miss SA, is a true test of integrity, intelligence, and resilience. Becoming Miss South Africa creates hope... hope to reach for your dreams and the chance to be proudly South African.

Rapport: As the cliché goes, beauty queens always promise to create world peace. Why isn't there world peace yet?
Rolene Strauss: I definitely consider this issue a much more complex philosophical question that can't be answered by beauty queens with their limited influence on world affairs. A massive issue like world peace requires the cooperation of leaders over a very broad spectrum.

Roughly translated from an article that appeared in Rapport

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