Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Olivier talks about her reign and handing over the crown

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Sasha-Lee Olivier
Sasha-Lee Olivier
Photo: Supplied by Miss South Africa
  • Miss South Africa 2020 will be crowned at The Table Bay hotel during a closed event on Saturday, 24 October.
  • The event will broadcast live on Mzansi Magic and M-Net from 17:00. 
  • Channel24 spoke to Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Olivier about executing her reign during a global pandemic and crowning her successor.

Speaking to Channel24 ahead of the Miss South Africa 2020 pageant, Sasha-Lee Olivier says she is excited to welcome other women into the sisterhood and crown her successor.

Miss South Africa 2020 will be crowned at The Table Bay hotel in an entertainment-packed event on Saturday, October 24, from 17:00. The event will be screened live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic as well as the live online stream with exclusive behind the scenes content (read more here).

Channel24 met with Sasha-Lee and reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi at the Table Bay hotel, and it's the first time that the two have seen each other face-to-face since Zozibini returned to South Africa in February.

"We've been in this together; I always can't wait to have my catch-up with you. I always feel centred and grounded again," Sasha-Lee tells Zozibini.

Sasha-Lee's Miss South Africa reign has been unlike any other, due to Covid-19 and restrictions on movement and social gatherings. 

She says: "It has been really difficult because the position we hold as Miss South Africa is very much hands-on, and it's unfortunate that we haven't been able to do that this year. I think that although it's been difficult in that sense, the great part about it is that our voices have been amplified because we are in the virtual space."

She adds: "I've always said this - I'm a product of the conversations that resonate with me the most. So, the great thing about this space is having the opportunity to be exposed to many people and have these conversations that will drive us forward."

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For many people across the world, the pandemic has inspired self-reflection, and Sasha-Lee relates to that experience. 

"I recently came to this idea, and it was while I was writing my farewell speech. Someone told me that if the universe didn't give you what you thought you wanted, it would teach you how to live without it. And it was so critical for me because I had so many expectations for the year, and there is just so much that we aren't in control of." 

What she has taken away from executing her reign during a global pandemic, is the unbreakable human spirit, she says.

"I feel like South African women are very much resilient, and it's been all about persistence in the face of defeat. This year with regards to Covid-19, I felt very much defeated because there was just so much that I wanted to do, and I learnt the importance of resilience, taking up space and being consistent," she says.

Sasha-Lee will crown a new Miss South Africa on Saturday, and she says that she is excited "for someone's dreams to come true".

Looking back on her own pageant journey, she says: "I remember when I was a young girl, and I had a dream of living up to my name, especially in this space."

She adds: "Having the opportunity to watch someone go through that space is amazing. If these are the women who are tasked with moving South Africa forward, we are in a very good space. They are incredible girls with their heads on their shoulders in the correct manner. And they're doing this from a very selfless space. Leadership isn't necessarily about recognition but about the responsibility to serve, and I see that.

"I've been so grateful to be someone that they can look up to, and have the opportunity to hand over the responsibility."

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