'I want to take selfies with people!' Down-to-earth Miss SA chats to YOU

By Shanaaz Prince
30 March 2015

Waking up this morning and realising that she'd taken the title of Miss South Africa 2015 is a dream come true for Johannesburg beauty, Liesl Laurie.

The 22 year old Bcom general graduate was all smiles when YOU caught up with her after a whirlwind Miss South Africa experience and a victorious ceremony held at the Sun City Superbowl last night.

"Waking up this morning, I found myself asking if this really happened or if it was all just a dream," she says, beaming.

"I am blessed, super excited and so honoured to have been chosen from 11 other amazing finalists and also all the other beautiful girls who were part of the Miss SA journey, to take this title."

Born and raised in Eldorado Park, Liesl grew up with her mother, Karen from whom she says she gets her "spunk and sass". PHOTO: www.facebook.com/MsSouthAfrica Liesl insists that this is one experience she will remember for the rest of her life. PHOTO: www.facebook.com/MsSouthAfrica

Born and raised in Eldorado Park, Liesl grew up with her mother, Karen from whom she says she gets her "spunk and sass"; grandmother, Lorrain who has taught her wisdom and younger sister, Micheala who has been a helping hand throughout the competition. Although from humble beginnings, she says that her community is part of reason she's been moulded for a time such as this and that she wants to use this time to give back.

"I come from a small community which unfortunately is prey to social ills like drug and alcohol abuse but it's my home and I know it's something bigger than just that. With my title I want my light to shine bright, I want to persevere and be an example that it's possible to reach your goals," she adds.

'I don't try and be somebody I'm not'

"I want to be a Miss South Africa for the people. I don't want South Africans to put me on a pedestal where I'm unattainable. I am relatable, I want to take selfies with people and I want them to be able to see a little of themselves in me."

A drum majorette for 11 years, Liesl credits her days in that uniform as the ones that's helped to groom her, teaching her about her posture and how to essentially be a princess. She also gives credit to her Miss South Africa mentor, Tatum Keshwar, who was available at her every beck and call making sure she was constantly prepared for whatever was thrown her way.

"Having Tatum as my mentor was absolutely amazing. She is like the big sister I never had and I'm so grateful for her. From getting me wet wipes to knowing just what to say when I was having a tough day, she really is amazing," says Liesl.

Her biggest Miss SA highlight, other than her win, is making it in the Top 12 and being able to grow with her other finalists who she says have become like sisters and Liesl insists that this is one experience she will remember for the rest of her life.

So what exactly makes Liesl the perfect candidate for Miss South Africa? Well the bubbly beauty says that it's her knack for simply being herself.

"I live by the saying 'if it's for me, it'll be for me'. I don't try and be somebody I'm not. I was raised by two generations of strong and amazing women and they've taught me so much," she says.

"I stand on and believe in self love. You need to love yourself, remain in and believe in who you are and not change for anyone. Throughout the competition that was my mantra, I didn't try and act or speak or be anyone other than who I am and I think that came across to the judges."

A big congratulations to our new Miss South Africa!

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