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

DRUM - - Contents - BY SHANAAZ PRINCE

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

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