5 Miss South Africa winners who took home the crown on a second (or third!) attempt

Miss SA Rolene Strauss is crowned Miss World 2014. (AFP)
Miss SA Rolene Strauss is crowned Miss World 2014. (AFP)

For several Miss South Africa winners, the phrase second (and sometimes third!) time's the charm rang true.

1. Zozibini Tunzi

When reigning Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, fell short of the Miss South Africa crown in 2017, the disappointment came as a blessing in disguise.  

The 26-year-old, who is originally from the Eastern Cape, vied for the prestigious title in 2017, but only made it to the semi-finals. That year Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned the winner, and she later went on to win Miss Universe in Las Vegas.

Speaking to Channel24, about the timing of her win, Zozibini said: "This year felt so much more natural, and it felt like it was going to happen for me. I don't know how to explain it. When people ask me, I still feel like I'm here for such a moment as this, the time was relevant."

She added: "The only difference between now and then is that then was not my time. Then it was Demi-Leigh's year. There was nothing wrong with me then, I was always the person that I am, just that it wasn't my time. That's the difference. Now, the world needed to hear my message. The world needed a Miss South Africa that is me, that looks like me. So that's why this year I won."

This is one of the crazier coincidences in local pageant history.


2. Rolene Strauss

Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, was crowned Miss South Africa on a second attempt, after she first competed in 2011.

Speaking to Channel24 in a previous interview, she said: "I participated in Miss South Africa as a 19-year-old in 2011 and was vastly unprepared. I also couldn't speak English very well. I made such a fool of myself when I didn't understand the question put to me on the final night," she says. 

She added that she "picked herself up" and gave the crown another go three laters later. Her hard work and perseverance paid off as she went on to beat out the other ladies for the crown, and come out on top at the Miss World pageant. 

3. Marilyn Ramos

Marilyn Ramos, who was crowned Miss South Africa 2012, entered the pageant twice before she emerged the winner. 

Eye For Beauty Blog, called 2012 the year of the "leftovers," pointing out that several contestants had returned, after failing to clinch the title in previous years.

She also held the title for the longest in SA pageant history- 16 months.

Marylin's year-long reigned was marred with controversy, when the now-defunct Heat magazine ran an article titled: "Was Marilyn Ramos the worst Miss SA ever?"

4. Tansey Coetzee

Speaking to Times Live when she crowned Miss South Africa 2007, Tansey said that she entered the pageant twice before and guessed "it was third time lucky."

When asked why she thought that she took the title that year, she chalked it up to her confidence and charm.

In the words of Aaliyah: "Cause if at first, you don't succeed. You can dust it off and try again."

5. Amy Kleinhans-Curd

In 1991, Amy Kleinhans-Curd was crowned Miss South Africa second-runner up to her friend, Diana Tilden-Davis.

With the cut-off age being 24 in those years, 23-year-old Amy wondered if she would regret not entering again later in life, so she gave it a second try. The power of "trying again" paid off as she was crowned South Africa's first non-white Miss South Africa in 1992.

Speaking to Bizcommunity she said that she was "both exceptionally confident and exceptionally nervous," and was proud of her achievement.