I’ve seen a lot of negative comments and opinions on the social networks in the hours since Miss SA, Rolene Strauss was named Miss World. People are asking, why should we celebrate someone who “won a fucking beauty pageant”. Well my answer is why not? This year has been intense for our country. It has been one year since our beloved former president, Nelson Mandela died. His legacy and everything he fought for need to be upheld and as South Africans I believe we should honour him, by trying to be better people each year. Here’s my little soapbox in a paragraph:
We’ve had two major court cases this year, the first being the Oscar Trial. Oscar Pistorius is now serving a five year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp back in February of 2013. The charges against Shrien Dewani were all dropped last week and now he is free to be who he wants to be, while her family come to terms with not only the tragic loss of their beloved Annie, but also the loss of this case. Dewani knows what happened that night, as does Pistorius, but the justice system gave them freedom and a soft sentencing respectively, so what are we to do? Both of these cases left many feeling bitter, betrayed and with a lack of faith in the justice system. Then Eskom decided to reinstate its rolling blackouts aka load shedding recently, leaving a lot of people in the dark – literally. This power station collapsed, the others haven’t been maintained, blah blah blah boring blah. Our ‘dear’ president, who is a whole other topic of discussion altogether, is now blaming Eskom’s failures on apartheid. Meanwhile back in Nkandla, I can bet that there have been no power shortages…. Maybe that area wasn’t even on the schedules, but then and again Eskom doesn’t stick to schedules so what does it matter. Parliament has become a very volatile place, where members of opposition parties are shouting, screaming and causing a massive stir. This isn’t bad, but it’s definitely made things a lot more interesting in terms of politics in SA. It’s also made our president a lot more scarce than what I and a lot of people would like. Will he hold office for another year? At this stage I doubt it. No faith = no point.
Our country has received a lot of bad press this year, so now when something like this happens I really believe we should celebrate it. For one Rolene Strauss is not just a pretty face. She’s a fourth year medical student, who is destined to be an inspiration in not only that field, but in business, beauty, entertainment and media spaces too. She’s young, focused, driven by passion and her goals and sincerely wants to make a difference in the lives of millions of South Africans and beyond. She will fly that South African flag high, holding it in the highest, most respected regard she knows how and she will be an incredible ambassador on the global stage. Twenty years on since the country became a democratic state and this is where we are. Yes we have our flaws and we still have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way already. I salute the massive achievement of Rolene Strauss and I will be behind her, supporting her all the way during her reign. Haters need to take a step back, relax and acknowledge that when there is something good, celebrate and encourage it because only good things can happen from there. Like sport, something like this can unite our country and I find whenever something negative happens, there’s always a bigger, more positive that pops up too. Sports has always been something that unites us, so why is this any different? Ahead of Reconciliation Day tomorrow, I encourage you to do this: smile South Africa and be Proudly South African.