South African takes Miss World crown


There is a line in a Bob Marley song that goes, in reference to a state he calls ‘mental slavery’: “None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Miss South Africa and now Miss World 2014
Miss South Africa and now Miss World 2014

This line came to mind as I learned South Africa’s representative had emerged victorious in this year’s Miss World pageant at London’s ExCel exhibition centre, because the nation that is seemingly still struggling to emerge from decades of minority White repression evidently couldn’t find an African woman to bear its standard.

So Rolene Strauss, a White 22-year-old medical student who was conceived in a Petri dish and describes herself as bilingual because she speaks English and Afrikaans, the tongue of the ‘evil Boer’, must have won a vote in some preliminary competition back in Black South Africa – a notion I find singularly depressing.

With no hint of irony, Miss Strauss gushed: “I am what I am today because of the opportunities I have received and I would love to give others the same opportunities; educating, the opportunity to be educated, to make healthy choices and also to live their dreams.”

On her website, she quotes Jeremiah 29:11 – “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,” and she adds: “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.”