Adé van Heerden, first princess at the Miss SA 2017 pageant, was crowned the new Miss South Africa at a ceremony at The Maslow Hotel in Sandton.
According to IOL, Van Heerden took over the role from Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who was crowned Miss Universe over the weekend. Nel-Peters was just the second South African to win the prestigious title.
Van Heerden is a qualified doctor, she was also chasing international honours recently, having contested the Miss World pageant in China on November 18. She made it to the Top 10 stage and was awarded the Beauty With A Purpose prize.
“It’s a very overwhelming feeling but, at the very same time, I’m very content,” said Van Heerden.
“I knew that his was my calling. My timing was just different. We got to show the world something incredible, what happens when women support each other, what happens when women uplift each other.
“We produced a Miss Universe and a Top 10 and Beauty With A Purpose at Miss World. It’s something so special, I feel very proud… I feel so proud of my country right now.”
Heerden on how the Miss World experience “Travelling through China for a month was quite a challenge, especially when you have 100kg of luggage with you, but it was quite an incredible experience.
“There were 118 girls from all over the world and they’re all the best their countries have to offer, and you get to learn from each and every single one of those girls and that is something not a lot of people get to experience in their lifetime.
“I came back home so much richer. I learnt things about countries, different cultures and religions, things I never would have if I didn’t do Miss World.
“I feel like Miss World has kind of prepared me to be Miss SA now. It gave me a different perspective. It was like a warm up.”