Reigning Miss South Africa Liesl Laurie and her First Princess Refilwe Mthimunye have revealed some of their pageant costumes as they prepare to compete in the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions respectively.
Laurie leaves South Africa this week to compete in the 65th Miss World competition which takes place at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China PR on December 19. South Africa’s Rolene Strauss will crown her successor at the end of the event.
Laurie, the 23-year-old Eldorado Park beauty, will be representing South Africa against 123 other countries in the competition which is watched worldwide by just short of one-billion people.
Liesl believes that she is fully prepared for the pageant: “My preparations started when I was crowned Miss South Africa and I know that I am ready for the international stage. I feel confident and ready to take on whatever lies ahead. I have faith that in my 30 days in Sanya, China I will show the world the beauty of our special country. We are the country of love and ubuntu and I plan to showcase this every day.”
She had a special message for Refilwe who will also grace the world stage a day after she does: “Go and show the world your magic, my friend. You have been such a blessing to South Africa and now it’s time for you to be that blessing to the rest of the world. Let’s try to make history and bring back two crowns for South Africa!”
Bronkhorstspruit-born Mthimunye will be representing South Africa at the 64th Miss Universe pageant held at The Axis in Las Vegas in the US on December 20 with nearly 80 contestants from around the world taking part. Paulina Vega from Colombia will crown her successor.
At the Miss World pageant, Laurie will be wearing gowns created by Bloemfontein-designer Casper Bosman, who also designed some costumes last year for her predecessor Rolene Strauss.
Designer Anel Botha will be designing Mthimunye’s interview outfit, portrait gown, national costume and evening gown.
Refilwe is delighted to be representing South Africa on the Miss Universe stage: “Going to Miss Universe gives me a platform to prove to any young South African that all goals and aspirations are attainable. My main focus is not only about making the most out of this experience but also making sure that I make my people proud.”
“Liesl and I were roommates as Miss South Africa finalists earlier this year and I know that she takes pride in always being the best she can be. We are both going to do our best while staying true to who were are.”
Both Liesl and Refilwe will be taking the same official gifts to the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants – a piece of Robben Island fence where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated with a framed picture of Madiba by artist Marc Alexander.