Q&A WITH MIKAELA OOSTHUIZEN

2016-04-07 11:33

1. Give us a short background on Mikaela Oosthuizen?

A 20 year old 3rd Year BA Media Communications and Culture Vice Chancellor's Scholar at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in PE. I love "communication" whether it be on my various Radio and TV shows that I present or through writing and advertising. I have a sister who is intellectually challenged and although is 24 years old has the intellectual capacity of an 8 year old.

2. How was the Miss SA 2016 experience?

Unforgettable. A lot of people don't realise that it's quite a lengthy journey (provisional judging starts in August 2015 till the finals in March 2016) and this really makes it a "road" to Miss SA so that each finalist is able to grow and develop into a stronger woman by the end of the competition.

3. What did you learn from the journey on Miss SA 2016?

If you don't believe in yourself no one else will. At every stage of the competition you need to know what you stand for and be firm in your convictions. By doing this you earn the respect of others and in turn they believe in your ability as much as you do. This was most evident when I won't the Miss SA Public Favourite vote and beat the nearest competitor by 40000 votes. This proved that South Africa believed in my vision as much as I did.

4. What was your best and worst moment at Miss SA 2016?

Best - the various media lunches we had with journalists from all over the country where we were asked our opinions on numerous issues in the country. I love speaking about the causes that I am passionate and proving that now more than ever, "pageants" are more about the "brains" component and less about the "beauty" component. I view myself as quite well read and up to date on talking points in this country and it is during these sessions that I feel I really bring about change in the mindsets of South Africans.

I also loved the fact that I won the public vote favourite by over 40 000 votes which proved that South Africa also supported my dream.

Worst-I'm not going to lie, walking off stage after Miss SA. The fact is that each of the finalists that didn't walk away with the crown that night were disappointed in some way because we all have qualities that make us worthy of wearing the crown. At the end of the day it is a competition but I feel that even though there was only one "winner" there were no "losers" because the experience gained is invaluable.

5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I love presenting and sharing experiences on screen with an audience at home and so in 5 years I would like to be an established Radio and TV presenter in either English or Afrikaans. I made it through to the "Presenter Search On 3" national top 30 despite being only 19 years old at the time and believe I have the personality and the passion to be successful. Anybody have a job for me (giggles hysterically)?

6. What is your ultimate or end goal?

My main goal has always been to make a significant impact in this country. Ever since winning the title of Miss SA Teen in 2010, at the age of 14 (making me the youngest title holder ever and the first from PE), I have been committed to bringing about positive change in my generation. I have always said that one person might not be able to change the world, but you can mean the world to one person and it is this message that I'd like to send to our country that one small, seemingly insignificant act of goodness, multiplied by millions-54 million to be exact, can create a lasting impact.

7. What advice do you have for the young women of this country?

Value yourself. Don't expect to be treated like Louboutins if you act like slipslops. Carry yourself with the same amount of respect you would want others to treat you with.

8. Would you enter Miss SA again?

Perhaps. I truly believe in what the competition stands for and maybe in a few years I might feel at a place in my life where I am ready to take up the role. I have always felt that you don't need a title to make a difference  and so I will continue being a "Miss South Africa" and a value driven woman with or without the crown.

9. What is your motto?

You can be the star of the hour if you make the minutes count. People are often surprised at my extensive CV despite my young age and I owe it to nothing more than my work ethic and my drive to prove that you are #NeverTooYoung to pursue your dreams.

10. How important is getting an education for the youth of this country?

Education is the greatest investment we can make in our country and that is why education is one of my main social causes. Education, above all else, is the most effective means to improve self worth because it enables an individual to do something for themself. I see education as a right and not a privilege. Being a Vice Chancellor's scholar (one of the highest monetary scholarships in the country) I understand the value that having extra resources can play in helping one achieve academically. I will continue working towards eradicating barriers that prevent students from enjoying their constitutionally enshrined right to education.

11. What's your opinion on all these new procedures like skin bleaching and many others?

I have always believed that beauty is what you feel about yourself, not what you see in the mirror. Despite the superficial aspects of beauty pageants I have never fully condoned the idea of drastically changing yourself to conform to Westernized  standards of beauty. There is value in looking after yourself and taking care of your appearance but I don't believe it should get to the point where procedures are necessary. However a lot of people feel it is fine and so it's up to the individual. Above all you should feel confident in your body.

Follow my journey:
Twitter: @smilemikaela
Instagram: @mikaelaoosthuizen
Facebook: "Mikaela Oosthuizen" Page

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