Finalist! #TammyTaylorMrsSA19

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“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” – Mark Anthony

Since March this year, I have been a semi-finalist in the Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa. (Semi-finalist! #TammyTaylorMrsSA19) This included securing sponsors, taking part in events and workshops in Johannesburg and attending Mpact recycling and Women4Women school projects in Cape Town. As well as preparing for the judging on the 27th of June.

The judging took place at Emperors Palace in the City of Ekurhuleni. It consisted of 30% swimwear modeling and 70% of the score was taken from a 5 minute interview with the judges. Although tensions ran high amongst everyone, I managed to stay very calm and clear headed. I felt more excited than nervous. This was my moment to shine! For both the swimwear and the interview I managed to stay relaxed and focused and tried my very best. The day ended off with the 5 minute interview with the judges. I was able to answer all the questions to the best of my ability but left the room very unsure and emotional. I had done my best, but I had nothing to compare it to since I had no idea how the other women had done. I also felt like the interview went by way to quickly! 5 minutes felt like 5 seconds and I felt like I didn’t get to tell them everyone I wanted to. The reason I entered the pageant is to spread the good news of South Africa. In a time where many South Africans are emigrating and speaking negatively about the country, I want to inspire them to love their country. I want us all to be Proudly South African. But in the interview I never got to say any of this! And so although the interview went well, I just didn’t know if my answers were enough.

The following day all the semi-finalists got to attend the Charity Ball in aid of Women4Women. This is also where the Top 25 finalists would be announced! The event started at 6pm and only at 23:45 would the finalists be announced! The evening started off with each one of us walking on stage by ourselves. As I stood at my spot on stage, about to do my walk, I felt my legs and lips shaking and all I could think was, “this is the most exciting thing I have done in my life!” I was so excited and the whole moment felt surreal. But at the same time, it felt bittersweet, as I wasn’t ready for my time in this pageant to be over. I felt so nervous but then I spotted Neil in the crowd, and then everything went calm and I was able to strut my stuff with no fear!

We then enjoyed the rest of the evening with amazing food and entertainment, until it was time for us to all go backstage and wait and see if our name would be called as a finalist. I was hoping that my name would be called within the first 10 names, because after that it would just become too stressful! So, I stood backstage kind of trying to count how many had been called. First I noticed that it had gone past 10, then 15, then 18. Then the rest is a blur until I finally heard my name!! I immediately started crying and Adele Koolen, the current Mrs Charity, hugged me so tightly, congratulating me. Then I heard my name being called again and realised it was time for me to go on stage!

As I walked on the stage and received my sash, all I kept thinking was “smile, don’t cry, you don’t want to look miserable.” I was so emotional, relieved, excited, overwhelmed and in disbelief all at the same time that I had to tell myself to just smile and stay calm. It is a moment I will never forget for as long as I live. And the photos of this moment will adorn my bedroom walls, along with my casting badge, judging badge, semi-finalist and finalist sashes! I have made memories that will last me forever, and the work has only just started!

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As a finalist, I have a lot of work to do! I have a lot of recycling projects to attend, events to attend in Johannesburg, I need to secure sponsors again and I get to host a fundraiser! I also need to document all of this for my final presentation which I will present to the judges at the judging in November. And then on the 8th of November we will find out who will be crowned as the new Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa!

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