Name: Tharina Botes
From: Roodepoort in Gauteng
Occupation: BComm marketing and business student at Damelin and a part time model.
Previous beauty competitions: Miss International South Africa 2016 (queen of SA) represented SA in Japan at Miss International (one of the four biggest pageants in the world), Miss Teen Gauteng 2014 winner, Miss Randshow 2016
Why do you want to be Miss South Africa and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role?
I believe that I have what it takes to represent Miss SA on an international stage and it would be a huge honour and privilege to hold the title of Miss South Africa. I feel that I have something different to offer to the Miss SA Brand as I am able to relate to people from all walks of life. Diversity focuses on embracing that which is different and Ubuntu is all about embracing those who are different and most importantly, empowering them. I am an emblem of diversity as I am half South African and half Thai. By embracing the fact that I am different, I want to use my confidence and the Miss SA platform to empower not only women but everyone with these positive values, and the culture of accepting and respecting differences. Together we can formulate a perfect solution: by learning, understanding and appreciating each other. I want to promote “unity in diversity”.
What qualities do you believe a Miss South Africa should possess?
I feel a Miss South Africa should have the X-factor, as soon as she walks into a room, all heads should turn. She should be optimistic, hopeful and confident about the future; she should be authentic so people will connect with her and relate to her; she should be kind, because it’s the inner beauty that shines though and makes her more beautiful; she should be determined and a hard worker so that she will successfully carry her year of reign; and she should be tenacious, never giving up and fight for what she wants.
Who is a previous Miss South Africa who has inspired you?
Rolene Strauss. From a personal experience with her, my best friend and I were at the Miss South Africa pageant the year after she had won and we saw her and wanted to take a photo with her. There were so many people waiting to do the same, and she looked over at us after we waited for a while and said “I’ll be with you now ladies”. Then she came over and just her presence, her authenticity and her kindness really mesmorised me. Also, she went on to win Miss World and accomplished every girl’s dream and showed us that with hard work, determination and believing in yourself, you can accomplish anything. She’s a role model for all women around the world.
Who are your role models/who has inspired you?
It would have to be my gran Madeline Botes. She is the most lovable and caring person I know. Her love for God and everyone around her makes her totally irresistible. She’s the type of person everyone needs in their life. She’s so pure and kind, she knows how to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Tell us a bit more about your family.
I have very loving and supportive parents who always want the best for me. My dad is in the motor industry and my mom owns the Jasmine Thai Day Spa in Ferndale. I have a 19-year-old sister and 11-year-old brother.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like spending time with those who are closest to me. I like dressing up my chihuahuas. I like reading good books. My hobbies would include visual arts and I love drawing. I am also a sporty person and was first team league in high school for tennis and got my Gauteng provincial swimming colours.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
My message would be that no matter what your circumstances are, you as an ordinary person can reach your full potential. It’s not about your history nor your education but the quality of your mindset that determines your future.
If you won the Miss South Africa crown and was able to meet one person, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Oprah Winfrey but not for one day only. I’d like to spend a couple of days with her because I have so much to discuss with her. She’s such a phenomenal woman and so inspiring. She teaches us to believe in ourselves and that we are capable of anything.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
It’s always been a fantasy of mine to own my chocolate factory – one like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I could be sitting all day just eating all the chocolate.
What are you reading?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It teaches you that when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true. The book is about finding one’s destiny.
What music are you listening to?
Deep house, techno and hip hop.
Your favourite TV shows?
America’s Next Top Model because I have a passion for the fashion industry and it gives you an upclose objective view of the ins and outs and ups and downs of the modeling industry.
Your favourite meal?
Sushi and of course chocolate!
What is your favourite quote?
“He who says he can, and he who says he can’t, are both usually right.” Meaning that you have to truly believe in yourself to make your dreams a reality.