Interview with the new Miss South Africa, Adè van Heerden.
What can you bring as Miss South Africa?
Every day we are presented with multiple opportunities that shape our lives and the lives of those around us. Being Miss South Africa is an opportunity to enrich my own life and simultaneously contribute to the growth and success of our rainbow nation. It is an honour to be entrusted with this title. I believe that I am representative of the “new and upcoming” generation of women in our country. We are smart, assertive and informed but also empathetic and caring. This reflects in my calling as a doctor in the military – I’m not afraid to stand my ground on a physical or emotional level. I hope to lead as dynamically and as open mindedly as I live my life.
What qualities do you believe a Miss South Africa should possess?
The role of Miss South Africa is ever evolving and women in our generation are stepping into important leadership positions on all fronts. Miss South Africa must be able to engage with children on their level and also have the ability to address important issues such as HIV, poverty and mental health. She must be well-groomed but natural. She should carry a regal presence that introduces her even before she speaks. Kindness and honesty must be a core value. She must be calm and level-headed when confronted with adversity.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you and why?
I don’t have one specific role model. All my life I have read about, personally met or seen people who have impacted on my spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. I therefore believe that every person we meet has the potential to inspire us and teach us in order to grow as a person.
Tell us a bit about your family:
My father Andre is a consultant in the health and safety industry. My mother Ana is a creative writer. I have an older sister Pauli who is a medical doctor at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital while my younger sister is Emma is a specialist consultant in the renewable energy industry.
Who would you like to meet now you are Miss South Africa?
Elon Musk. This South African born mega-entrepreneur overcame many obstacles to ultimately create a business that knows no limits. I am inspired by his ability to create solutions to problems that seem insolvable.
What is your message to young girls and young woman in South Africa?
The momentum of women is undeniable, but we sometimes lack confidence, despite being talented and qualified for leadership. We do not need empowerment; we are powerful beyond measure. We only need to believe in our unequivocal abilities and be confident that we can lead and transform this country. We are emotional and loving by nature. We should embrace it and use it to bring something inspiring, fresh and unique to the table. We also shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. We don’t have to be perfect – what does that mean anyway? You have to love yourself and if you aren’t confident or are feeling down, look for the help and support of people who can help change your mindset.
What are your hobbies/what do you do in your spare time?
Junior doctors work long hours and shifts can be up to 30 hours. With that being said, I try using my spare time to do things that are “soul soothing” – the first of which is exercise. This I balance between boxing, the gym and outdoor activities such as hiking. My hobby is baking. I bake anything from extravagant cakes with an element of surprise to just simple brownies with which to spoil my sisters or work colleagues.
What is your favourite meal?
I love a well-balanced breakfast. Scrambled eggs with some avocado on rye toast and a side of fresh fruit.
What music are you listening to?
Mostly the songs topping the charts at the moment on iTunes – anything to add some good energy to the atmosphere.
What is one thing people will be surprised to find out about you?
I received my Protea colours in rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 13 and was gold medal winner at the All African Championships.