Miss World in Ja
History was made on Tuesday when, for the first time, a non-Jamaican reigning Miss World visited the island.
Miss World Rolene Strauss, and CEO of the Miss World Organisation, Julia Morely, are in Jamaica to attend the 2015 staging of the Miss Jamaica World competition, which takes place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Saturday, August 15.
Strauss and Morely were special guests at a reception with sponsors at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, where set to be high on the agenda was talk of Jamaica hosting a future Miss World pageant.
The South African showed why she won the crown, gliding into the Valencia Suite and greeting everyone present as if they were old friends. In a sit-down with Today, she reflected on the most memorable moments of her time as holder of the coveted Miss World title so far.
"The travelling has meant so much to me as a person, but it's all the little things I have had and experienced during my reign. I would definitely have to say the little kids hugging me. In Mexico, a little girl asking me if I can take her home with me - all the little things like that that make you feel like you are actually meaning something to someone and giving some love to those around you."
At Saturday's Miss Jamaica World coronation, Strauss will see Miss Jamaica World Laurie-Ann Chin hand over her crown to a new queen. In a few months, Strauss will be doing the same.
"I have about three to four months of my reign left, and I hope to make the best out of every moment I have - just to take every moment I have and give my best and know that I'm there to give of myself to someone else," she said.
She said that being Miss World has helped her grow as a person; however, she has managed to remain grounded: "I am still the exact same woman. I would say I have matured so much, and my vision is only bigger. I see that anything is possible if you work hard and if you have a vision, and that people all over the world really want to give to others and really care. So, I am really hopeful. I think it gave me a lot of hope."
Strauss is looking forward to completing her studies (she is currently a fourth-year medical student) and spending time with her family and friends when her reign comes to an end.
For all Miss World contestants and future holders of the crown, she has some words of advice: "Use what you have been given to give back. You don't have to be like someone else. Don't try to be like me; don't try to be like any other title holder. Just be yourself. You were made for greatness and it's such a receiving thing to give. So just be yourself and appreciate who you are."
Strauss said she hoped to have her Jamaican experience stay with her for a long time.
"I heard that the people here are so lovely and so relaxed, and enjoy every minute of life. So I hope to take back a piece of Jamaica with me," she smiled.