I had the opportunity to recently interview Demi-Leigh! I appreciate her sharing her story, thanks to the Miss South Africa Organization. I hope you will enjoy this interview!
What was the first thing that went through your mind when you were crowned the new Miss South Africa?
I don't quite know how to describe the feeling you get when your childhood dream becomes a reality. It was a feeling of relief, joy and pride. I know how much effort, blood, sweat and tears I put into the Miss South Africa pageant and to see all your hard work and dedication pay off is an indescribable feeling.
How has your life changed since you were crowned Miss South Africa?
Being Miss South Africa has definitely been an adjustment to "normal life". I have a tight schedule and have to manage my time wisely. As a 21 year old I constantly deal with corporates, business leaders and government, this forces you to take responsibility and matures you. Being an ambassador for your country comes with great responsibility because you are not only representing yourself but a whole nation. I am absolutely loving this journey and so far it has exceeded all my expectations.
Do you know if you will compete at Miss World or Miss Universe ? or at both ?
As Miss South Africa you compete in both pageants, unless the two pageants overlap. We will have more clarity when the dates are released.
Many misses have said that their dream since a child was to participate in a pageant as prestigious as Miss World (or Miss Universe). Was this your case? And if so, why?
This is definitely the dream I had for my life and something I knew I wanted to obtain. As a young girl I have personally experienced the power that these platforms (Miss world/Universe) have. I have been inspired by titleholders from a young age to work hard, to be focussed and to push my limits. If I could be that same inspiration to just one girl out there it would be a dream come true.
A lot of people stereotype beauty pageants by former incidents, what would you do to prove them wrong?
To me Miss South Africa is a voice to the voiceless, she is a beacon of hope and she is the physical representation of a young South African woman that can make her dreams come true. Miss South Africa is a young woman who represents all her fellow countrymen . I am educated. I am intelligent. I know what I stand for. I feel that in order to prove these stereotypes wrong I can only be the best version of myself.
Who is your favorite beauty queen and why?
I have admired Pia Wurtzbach for her determination and perseverance. She always goes the extra mile and nothing is ever too much effort for her. You could see how much she honoured and valued her role as Miss Universe and on top of it all she is drop dead gorgeous.
How do you imagine your life in ten years?
I see myself having an international title and having established a successful business that allows me to travel the world and help other people at the same time. I would love to look back in 10 years and also see a successful modeling career and my own established foundation that helps young entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. I also hope to obtain my MBA degree within the next ten years.
What is your message to young girls and young women ?
I'd like to share a quote by Albert Einstein that had a big impact on the way I live my life: " The woman who follows the crowd is likely to go no further than the crowd, but the woman who follows her own footsteps is likely to find herself in places no one else have ever been."
It definitely wasn't easy winning Miss South Africa. It took months of hard work, sacrifices and a lot of dedication. If you believe in something, believe in it all the way. Don't expect great results with poor effort.