Tamaryn Green reflects on her reign
With great beauty comes great responsibility, as outgoing Miss SA Tamaryn Green has found. She reflects on her year in the limelight
SHE represented South Africa on the global stage, spoke at the United Nations and launched a campaign close to her heart. And when she places the crown on her successor’s head she’ll have one important thing to tell her: this year’s going to be bigger than you imagined.
Tamaryn Green, the outgoing Miss South Africa, admits she was surprised by the clout that came from holding the title. “It’s hard to comprehend just how big the Miss South Africa platform is and the opportunities it offers,” the 24-yearold brunette beauty says.
“I found myself in the position where my voice was heard and that was fantastic. However, this comes with immense responsibility because the pressure is on you to help as many people as you can. You have to seize the opportunity.”
The opportunity Tamaryn seized and ran with was the launch of her TB awareness campaign, #breakthestigma. She overcame the disease four years ago and opened up about her fight in the hope of encouraging others to seek treatment as soon as possible and to banish the stigma that still comes with a diagnosis.
Seeing her campaign take off was the jewel in a year of highlights. One memory that stands out strongly for Tamaryn is bonding with fellow contestants and
meeting previous Miss SA titleholders in the build-up to the 2018 pageant.
As last year heralded the 60th anniversary of the contest, previous winners joined that year’s contestants along the way to celebrate the milestone birthday.
“I discovered this special sisterhood – it really is like a family.”
She also felt honoured to represent the country on the world stage at the Miss Universe contest in Bangkok, Thailand, and was thrilled to appear at the UN General Assembly to discuss her TB campaign.
“But most importantly, what really stands out is the love and support I received from ordinary South Africans. We sometimes focus so much on the negative that we don’t realise how many wonderful people there are in this country.”
THE toughest part of the contest is missing your family and friends, Tamaryn says. She adds that there’s a lot of hard work involved and it certainly isn’t all glamorous, but the rewards definitely outweigh the challenges.
“In the beginning I was worried the media wouldn’t portray me for who I am but they turned out to be incredibly supportive and kind and helped me promote my TB story.”
Her reign has been special, she says, and the past year has been “a blessing from God”.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity to make a difference both in my own life and in the lives of those people who I’ve been fortunate enough to meet during my time as Miss South Africa. This experience has shown me another side to life and that’s priceless.”
Her advice to the current crop of Miss SA contestants is that they must really want it. “Miss South Africa needs drive and passion. She must also have a giving heart, be relatable and generous and passionate about empowering women and girls. She should be kind and loving, humble and gentle, willing to learn and determined to strive to always do good.”
Tamaryn is completing her final-year of medical studies at the University of Cape Town – she put her degree on hold while she was Miss SA but was back in her white coat with her stethoscope around her neck in April this year.
She’ll be continuing her work with her TB campaign, she says. “I want to continue to live my life as an example as much as I can for as long as I can.”
BOKANG MONTJANE-TSHABALALA ROLENE STRAUSS LIESL LAURIE NTANDOYENKOSI KUNENE-MTHETHWA The Light Up Your Dreams ambassadors: Ntandoyenkosi Kunene-Mthethwa, Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala, Tamaryn Green, Liesl Laurie and Rolene Strauss. TAMARYN GREEN