Rolene talks decade after coronation about self-confidence, motherhood and future plans


Rolene Strauss would not have been able to imagine her first thoughts when she became Miss in 2014. World has been crowned, the question “what now?” would not be

“I knew in my heart that I had a bigger plan with this, but also just thought wow, this has now become a reality for me at the age of 23, but my whole life is still ahead of me. I wanted to make sure that its impact is far-reaching,” Rolene tells RNews.

Rolene was crowned Miss in 2014 in London, England. World designated. The miss South African crown was also placed on her head shortly before.

Empowering women to have self-confidence and to pursue their own dreams has always made the beauty queen and businesswoman’s heart beat warm. Questions about her own future path after achieving a goal as big as a Miss. World title, according to Rolene, was inevitable at the time.

That’s why she encourages others to always keep the bigger picture in mind when it comes to goals and look beyond the mere achievement of them.

“If your only point of departure with something like Ms. SA or Miss World is simply winning the title won’t get you far. If you then win, it will be very difficult to make the most of it as an opportunity for growth. I think the same can be said for many other things in life.”

Miss. SA much more than a starting block

It is almost unreal for her that ten years have passed since she was crowned Miss in 2014. SA and later Miss. World was crowned, and its legacy is to this day one that the 33-year-old cherishes, but also sees as a responsibility.

“There are so many different eyes on you when you are put in the spotlight with something like Miss. SA. From little girls to young mothers and older women. One must be very careful with the title and not take it lightly.”

Her passion for women’s physical as well as their mental health has played a big role in the kind of work and projects that Rolene has undertaken in the past decade. Among other things, she obtained a medical degree and completed a master’s degree in philosophy and life coaching, and also works as a motivational speaker.

Her involvement in projects such as the Always keeping girls in school initiative, which aims to provide sanitary products to underprivileged girls, is also close to her heart.

“Everything one undertakes must be aligned with a greater dream or goal, and women have always been at the core of mine.”

In her eyes, the Miss Moreover, SA competition is not only about the individuals who walk away with the title, but about the country as a whole.

“South Africa has so many wonderful women and things to offer. I love my country very much and am very positive about it, and I feel Miss. SA was my way of making a small contribution to the country.”

This passion and love for her homeland contributed to her and her husband of almost eight years, businessman D’Niel Strauss, deciding to raise their growing brood on their own soil.

Rolene originally came from Volksrust in Mpumalanga, while D’Niel grew up on Keimoes, about 40 km from Upington.

The couple, who soon welcome their third son, “debated, thought and prayed” a lot and finally decided to stay on home soil on two conditions.

“The first is that we are not going to complain about the country, and the second is that we must be part of the solutions. We feel that as citizens we must take the future of our country into our own hands. After all, it is our country that has given both me and D’Niel all these wonderful opportunities.”

Being a mother builds her confidence

When talking about the past decade’s highlights, being a mother is right at the top of the list for her.

“It is said that your reality is determined by the lenses through which you look at life, and motherhood has changed my lenses a lot, especially when it comes to self-confidence. There are a lot of expectations out there, but here in my house I’m just mom. In my boys’ eyes, I am always enough, I am always cute, always beautiful and always make the most delicious food.

“If you sometimes try to look at yourself through your children’s eyes, you will perhaps have more appreciation for who and what you are as a person.”

There is also of course great excitement now in the Strauss house for the third brother to make his appearance.

“We are terribly excited. We’ve always wanted a big family, and with our amazing support base, it made the decision to expand our family just that much easier.”

Strive for satisfaction, not perfection

Rolene says that striving for perfection is one of the unfair stereotypes attached to beauty pageants, despite the fact that today’s Miss. SA participants are working on being more authentic on social media.

Natasha Joubert, the current bearer of the Miss. SA crown, for example, recently gave a vulnerable look at the overwhelming impact of such a title by sharing a photo of herself in tears and not wearing make-up.

In this post, Natasha talks candidly about the feelings of guilt that arise when it feels as if the crown rests a little heavily on her head.

“We’ve come a long way in that regard, but social media causes people to get these false impressions about the so-called perfect ways of looking, speaking and living,” believes Rolene.

Perfection and comparisons are almost swear words in her book, precisely because, according to Rolene, women in particular are often overwhelmed by two contradictory ways of thinking.

“On the one hand, it is the message that you are enough, nothing should change and you are perfect just the way you are. On the other hand, you are encouraged to reach your full potential, constantly improve yourself and never be satisfied.

“It’s so unhealthy to only focus on one; we should rather try to find a healthy balance between the two.”

Finding contentment where you are currently in your life, but at the same time still having goals and dreams for the future, is equally important, according to her.

“It is so important to realize that where you find yourself now is okay. No, we cannot speed up the growth process, or perhaps not change where we find ourselves now, but we can always have hope for the future and for what we still want to achieve.”