Ané Oosthuysen (25), from Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng, talks to KDanielles Media about why she entered this year’s competition and her success tips for young women
What beauty pageants have you entered and how did you fare?
I was crowned Miss Vaal 2019/2020. I was also in the Miss South Africa 2021 Top 30. More recently, I was in the top five for the Sarie magazine cover search.
What are your qualifications and occupation
I am a fourth-time graduate from the North-West University, holding a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, an honours degree in psychology, an honours degree in medical sociology and a postgraduate teaching qualification. I also recently completed an online teaching course to teach English as a foreign language. Currently, I am a primary school teacher and aspire to further my studies and become an educational psychologist.
Why did you decide to enter Miss South Africa 2023 and why do you deserve to win this title?
From a very young age, I have always known that my passion and purpose is to live a life that serves others. By combining this passion with my determination to make my voice heard, I was motivated to enter Miss South Africa in 2023 for the second time. Growing up, I faced challenges related to bullying and not feeling adequate enough – specifically, being bullied about my height. Being one of the tallest people in school was extremely tough, and as a result, I would constantly slouch and try to make myself smaller so that I could fit in. It has taken me several years in my adulthood to work through this and several other challenges, and despite having access to resources now, I see the struggle of dealing with these challenges in the youth of today – they simply do not have access to resources, tools, or empathy from those around them to cope with their own issues. By utilising my knowledge and studies in psychology, I know that if these issues are not addressed and dealt with at a young age, it can cause a severe impact on them when they are older, ultimately, affecting their adulthood. The powerful platform Miss South Africa provides will enable me to educate and empower the youth of South Africa on a much larger scale than I am doing right now. My mission would be to visit as many schools as possible and talk about my struggles and give the learners actionable steps and resources to deal with bullying and other related issues. I would love the help from the Miss South Africa Organisation to help me set up my own foundation. This foundation would focus on the children and give them, as well as teachers and parents, actionable tools and resources to help work through bullying and help in following their dreams and aspirations.
What do you think is the most important part of a beauty pageant?
The authenticity of the women competing, combined with their personal journey. While physical aspects are often highlighted, the ability to empower and inspire women of all ages is crucial. The personal journey often leads to a better understanding of oneself and finding a deeper passion for one’s advocacy.
What qualities should a woman possess to make a notable difference in the world?
A woman who is honest, trustworthy, self-confident, compassionate, and 100% her authentic self.
Why do you believe that the Miss South Africa pageant should be more inclusive and representative of society?
The world is ever-changing and so are modern-day women. Our priorities and the timeline of our lives no longer apply. What once was no longer is and I think that this needs to be noted in pageantry. The rules from 50-years ago, even 10-years ago, don’t hold up to the modern-day woman.
How do you define success?
Success varies for me. It goes beyond materialistic and personal goals. Since taking on the role as an educator, as well as an advocate against bullying and mental health issues, I believe that true success stems from the positive impact we have on the people around us and our community. Success is all about empowering, supporting, and uplifting our community while doing the same for ourselves.
What has been your biggest disappointment and how did you bounce back?
When I applied for my master’s degree to further my studies, I was not accepted into the programme. At the time, it was a huge disappointment for me. However, this was one of the biggest realisations in my life – that sometimes things happen not to show us that we have failed, but rather see it as a redirection to a path we might have not seen. In this case, my path was redirected to teaching, which turns out to be one of the greatest blessings.
What do you think is the biggest problem facing young people today?
The prevalence of bullying, both physically and within digital spaces. As a primary school teacher, I have noticed the rise of bullying in digital spaces, as social media is being used by younger children more frequently, as well as the pressure to live up to society’s expectations seen through various media and cultures. Both factors play a significant role in a person’s mental health, and it is important to educate them on the long-term consequences. It can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. In South Africa, this is heightened by our various deep-rooted socio-economic and cultural factors that can facilitate bullying behaviours and a feeling of despair and shame when trying to meet society’s expectations. As an advocate, I believe that it is crucial to address these issues through education, providing tools and resources, and promoting empathy amongst our youth. By fostering a healthy environment that promotes inclusivity, respect, kindness, and allowing people to follow their desired path in life, we can create a safer and more harmonious society.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
To believe in themselves and embrace their uniqueness. Never underestimate the power that they hold within them and their ability to create change, inspire others and make a difference in the world. Their worth is not determined by appearance or external validation, but by humility, passion, kindness and intelligence.
What are you reading right now?
This is the Day by Tim Tebow
What music are you listening to?
My music taste is quite diverse and it depends on the mood I am in. I do enjoy Britney Spears, Selena Gomez and pop from the early 2000s.
What are your favourite TV shows?
MasterChef and anything crime related.
What is your favourite meal?
I’m a big foodie. I have to choose it would have to be lasagne.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
A self-care night – bring out the face masks, bubble baths and chocolate!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I don’t think there is such a thing as perfect happiness but rather doing something daily that you love and that can create sustained happiness.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing the people close to me.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I recently invested in a vanity from a local business – it’s basically those one’s in fancy dressing rooms with the Hollywood-style lights. I no longer need a ring light!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
‘Gits Frits’ – something I have adopted from a close friend of mine. Also ‘Oh my soul’ and ‘Guys’.
When and where were you happiest?
I’m the happiest when surrounded by my loved ones
Which talent would you most like to have?
A greater singing ability – one of my friends actually made the comment the other day and said that she has never met someone who likes to sing as much as I do. She just sometimes wishes I was a bit better at it.
What is your motto?
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Also: If you decide to walk a life with purpose, you will always collide with your destiny.