Girl from Eldos has the world at her feet

10 December 2007 - 02:00 By Nomfundo Xulu andItumeleng Motuba

STUNNING Tansey Coetzee said being crowned Miss South Africa was "a window to opportunities for my own life, my country and my family.

"I am very excited about the prizes too," she added.

Coetzee, who was crowned Miss SA amid much glitz and glamour at Sun City at the weekend, said she still hadn't "found the correct words to describe the feeling".

Clearly not new to the ramp, Coetzee said she had entered the Miss SA pageant twice before and guessed "it was third time lucky".

She said it must have been her charm and confidence that made the judges weak at the knees.

She said her days in Eldorado Park, in Johannesburg, were the best of her childhood.

"If I could ever go back and relive my childhood in Eldos, I would do it exactly the same way," she said.

The 23-year-old "fashion designer at heart" said she hoped to launch her own label soon.

But, Coetzee said, her passion was education.

"I think education is a big issue in our country. But people just cannot afford it," she said. "I think if it were cheaper, or maybe even free, South Africa would be a much better and stronger nation."

On Saturday evening, the 23-year-old beauty was crowned the new queen, Avumile Qongqo the first princess and Manisha Pillay the second princess.

Coetzee, who was excited about becoming the new reigning queen, said that she couldn't wait to start her campaign.

"It is still such a dream for me. I grew up looking up to people such as Jo-Ann Strauss and I hoped that one day it would be me wearing that crown."

At the same event, young beauty Moloko Masemola was named the new Miss SA Teen.

The 17-year-old, who wants to be a doctor, said she had entered the pageant "just for fun".

"My education comes first and I would love to get good grades next year so that I can make it to medical school," said Masemola.

"I want to have, and show teenagers that it is possible to have, a drug-free, sex-free and happy life."