Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss, has been crowned Miss World 2014 at the 64th Miss World pageant in London.
In her own words “a test tube baby,” Strauss follows in the footsteps of two previous Miss South Africa’s who won the Miss World title — Anneline Kriel in 1974 and Penny Coelen (Rey) in 1958.
Keep reading to meet Rolene Strauss “in her own words” below.
Meanwhile, South Africans are celebrating her win: “Good day for South Africa. Rolene Strauss wins the 2014 Miss World Title and South Africa go to the top of the World Rugby Sevens table by winning the latest tournament, having trounced England 31-7; beaten Australia 19-10; then defeated New Zealand 26 -17 in the final,” stock broker, financial consultant and historian David Bennet wrote on Facebook.
Former Miss World Penny Coelen-Rey reportedly complained that she missed much of this year’s contest on TV because the men in her house were watching the Rugby Sevens.
Second to Miss South Africa in the Miss World 2014 event was Hungary’s Edina Kulcsár and third was Elizabeth Safrit representing the United States.
Contestants from Australia, England, Guyana, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico and India rounded out the top 10.
Rolene Strauss, born on April 22, 1992, is a fourth-year medical student and the daughter of a doctor and nurse. She is currently studying towards her degree at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, although she now takes the next year off to fulfill her Miss World 2014 duties.
This year’s event was presented by Tim Vincent and Megan Young, the first reigning Miss World to ever host her own final show.
Julia Morley, Miss World Chairman, said: “It was great to bring the 64th Miss World Final back to London and where it all began 63 years ago.
The winners were announced Sunday after a lengthy competition involving contestants from more than 120 countries.
See all the Miss World 2014 contestants here.
This year’s contest was marred by the murder last month of Miss Honduras and her sister in that country.
Rolene Strauss talks about herself on her blog.
“When I was a little girl, my parents used to tell my brother and me that we were very valuable. Their pictures of us eventually became our pictures of ourselves.
“My mom studied nursing and my dad medicine at the University of the Free State when my dad started charming my mom in the wards of the Universitas Hospital. Like in a fairy tale, they fell in love, got married and eventually wanted to start a family. After five long years (and most of their savings), I popped out of a test tube. A year after my birth my brother was, like my mom says, ‘sent from heaven’.
“We moved to a small town called Volksrust, in Mpumalanga. Ever since then I was a small town girl with big dreams. To be the best me, to follow my destiny and someday be a woman who uses what she was given out of grace; to inspire, to love, to sympathize and to give.
“The following verse never fails to give me goose bumps: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ – Jeremiah 29:11. We all have a future of hope, a destiny planned for each as individual. The choices we make are the turns we take on the road to our destinies.
“Today, I’m literally living my dream. My name is Rolene Strauss; I’m a 21-year-old medical student at the University of the Free State. Blessed with wonderful people in my life, endless opportunities and love, I’ve learned that giving doesn’t mean having less. Giving is not expensive; a life of giving is a life of receiving. We are all valuable, especially in the lives of others.”
“Beauty with a Purpose” is what the Miss World organizers say is at the heart of the competition. That’s the portion of the contest in which each contestant is judged on the impact she makes working with nonprofits, or starting her own, in the poorer parts of the world.