Just two months after Sasha-Lee Olivier’s dream of becoming Miss SA came true, she was confined to her apartment in Sandton, Johannesburg. “The lockdown is not ideal. But the health of our country and its people is now a priority and I see it as a privilege to serve my country by setting the right example,” said the 27-year-old.
Olivier was first princess in the Miss SA competition in August, but after the original winner, Zozibini Tunzi, was crowned Miss Universe, Olivier became Miss SA and took over the position in January. And then came the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown.
Now she does what she can to “help and inspire other South Africans, even if it’s from my apartment”, she jokes. She still gets up at 5am and sticks to her routine. She believes this helps her to stay sane during these uncertain times.
“I adjusted my routine after having read the book The 5am Club: Own your Morning. Elevate your Life by Robin Sharma. He believes that one should get up early, do 20 minutes of intense exercise, invest 20 minutes in yourself and your knowledge, and use the last 20 minutes to keep a journal and write down what you’re thankful for.”
That’s exactly what she is doing. “Since then, I’ve been keeping to the routine. I start the day with an online exercise session, then I read. For that, I use an app named Blinkist. It gives you a summary of the most important information in a book and there is a variety of different subjects. I use the time to read about things that I did not know,” she says.
At the moment, she is busy with a book about the fourth industrial revolution. Shortly before the lockdown started, her focus was on hygiene and she was working with Lifebuoy to help provide soap to two clinics as well as to 5 000 households in poorer areas in the region. “The reality is that a cake of soap costs as much as bread and, during these times, you don’t want someone to have to choose between food and hygiene. It was wonderful to help,” said Olivier.
On some days, she does online interviews with other inspirational women and they share their stories. “It’s very special that I now have time to answer all the messages that people out there send me.” For Olivier, a message just like that changed her life. In 2014, she sent Rolene Strauss, that year’s Miss SA, a message informing her that she also dreamt of wearing the crown one day. She couldn’t believe it when she got an answer. “It changed my life and she became a mentor to me, and here I am now.”