Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – President Jacob Zuma has paid a glowing tribute to South Africa’s Rolene Strauss who was crowned Miss World 2014 in London on Sunday.
“We are very proud that our very own has earned this prestigious title after months of hard work and dedication. Rolene has demonstrated the capability of South Africans to shine on the world stage,” he said in a statement.
Zuma said he is confident that she will fly the South African flag high as she performs her new responsibilities.
The 22-year-old medical student said she plans to study for an MBA before becoming a doctor.
In her acceptance speech, she said “my country is my pride and my purpose has and will always lie within it.”
“In my country we are all here from different backgrounds and cultures but we have one thing in common – we are South Africans. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to represent such a diverse nation,” she added.
Strauss beat 124 contestants from around the globe. The runners-up were Miss Edina Kulcsar of Hungary, and Miss Elizabeth Safrit from the United States.
Strauss becomes the first Miss South Africa to take this prestigious title since Anneline Kriel in 1974.