For outgoing Miss South Africa – Liesl Laurie – this has been a year of years – from being offered 50 cows for her hand in marriage, to globetrotting.
With 25 days left in her reign as Miss South Africa, Laurie has described the feeling as a bittersweet coming of age.
“I wake up and then I’m excited knowing that I’m going to get to start a new journey and a different chapter of my life.
“But I’m also sad that it’s coming to an end because for almost two years, this is all I’ve known. It’s like the Miss South Africa organisation is saying, go off and do for yourself.”
Not one to back down from a challenge, the 24-year-old will be swapping the Miss South Africa crown for the Miss World Africa one. Having clinched the Miss World Africa title in December during the Miss World, Laurie is set to travel to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Namibia to help the Miss World organisation as their “eyes and ears”.
Towering at 1.71m, Laurie is the perfect Miss South Africa cocktail – with two parts confidence, one part grace and a dash of humility garnished with just the right amount of swagger.
It comes as no surprise then that her reign has been accompanied by a few strange and bemusing requests along her journey, including a flood of marriage proposals.
“I’ve gotten a few strange e-mails like marriage proposals. One man e-mailed the Miss South Africa office and offered 50 cows to marry me,” she said.
It was an offer that she had to decline.
Reflecting on her reign, Laurie said the highlight was a young girl who thanked her for winning Miss South Africa.
“It dawned on me that my victory wasn’t just for me, it was also for my family and community. It was for everyone.”
Laurie admits that she still gets nervous when she has to speak to large groups.
Next on her to-do list is completing her honours in accounting while still pursuing the work she does with charities.
“I don’t want to be famous. I’d rather be influential,” she said. – TimesLive.