It’s official: Sasha-Lee Olivier, who was the first runner-up in the 2019 Miss SA pageant, will be taking over the reigns from Zozibini Tunzi as our new Miss South Africa.
This comes after Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe in December; she subsequently moved to New York to fulfil her duties as the international pageant’s winner.
“I am so happy for Zozi who deserves, in every way, to wear the Miss Universe sash. I wish her every success. I step into big shoes. I just want Zozi to know that I will do my best to fill them,” Olivier told SowetanLIVE.
The 27-year-old beauty queen added on Instagram that she’s “incredibly excited” to don the Miss SA crown.
Here are five things you might not know about her:
1. SHE MADE HISTORY AT THE MISS SA PAGEANT
The 2019 edition of the Miss SA pageant promised to be the most diverse and inclusive yet. For the first time, this year’s Top 16 featured an openly queer contestant as well as a pair of plus-sized models, of which Olivier was one.
Controversy brewed on social media about whether these gorgeous ladies were curvy enough to be considered plus size or not.
To which, Olivier — who is a size 36 — responded that there was a difference between the modelling industry’s definition of plus size, how models see themselves, and how the public sees them.
“I see myself as my size and I own that. I have never said that I was plus-size, but my industry labels me as such,” she told TimesLIVE.
2. SHE DID US PROUD AT THE MISS WORLD PAGEANT
As the first runner-up of the 2019 Miss SA pageant, Olivier was crowned Miss World South Africa and as such went on to represent our country at the Miss World pageant in December.
Although Olivier didn’t end up taking the Miss World crown, the curvaceous beauty did make it into the top 40 of the prestigious pageant.
There were also many moments when she excelled on the Miss World stage, including during the “Dances of the World” competition when she did a gumboot dance.
3. SHE’S A JOBURG GIRL AND LOVES CITY VIEWS
Born in Alberton, one of Olivier’s more unusual hobbies includes climbing whichever tall buildings she can to take in views of the city at night.
She’s also a fan of fishing, playing vintage video games and watching The Big Bang Theory.
4. SHE IS A RAPE SURVIVOR
Olivier was sexually abused by a close relative between the ages of seven and 11.
“I carried a deep sense of shame, believing for years that the constant attacks on me were my fault,” she says on the Miss SA website. “I want men, women and children to know that they are not to blame for their abuse.”
This is the inspiration behind her #ItsNotYourFault campaign, which distributes rape comfort packs to those who have survived rape or sexual assault. Each pack costs R120 and includes a selection of hygiene products, a teddy bear and a note reassuring the survivor that what happened to them was not their fault. For more information or to make a donation, visit backabuddy.co.za
5. SHE’S A PROUD MEMBER OF THE BEYHIVE
Olivier admits to being a hard-core Beyoncé fan. On the Miss SA website, she also says that you’ll find tracks by Shekhinah, Nasty C and Coldplay on her playlists.
• Additional reporting staff reporter.