Primary school teacher Ané Oosthuysen is the latest Miss South Africa finalist to be voted out of the pageant following her elimination from Crown Chasers, the Miss South Africa behind-the-scenes television series broadcast on SABC 3.


The 25-year-old Vanderbijlpark resident, who is a four-time graduate from the North-West University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology, an Honours degree in Psychology, an Honours degree in Medical Sociology and a postgraduate teaching qualification, said that her biggest challenge during the series was her mindset.


“Going through eliminations every week was incredibly tough and the anxiety never got any better. I think I was in my head too much. The most difficult part of everything was that even though you felt you gave your everything, it could still end up not being enough. The competition was really tough.


“But Crown Chasers is such a revolutionary game changer in the world of pageantry and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. It was challenging and although some days were really hard, looking back I realise that it is one of the most incredible things I could have gone through in my life.”


The focus in episode 4 – titled Honouring our Heritage – was the importance of understanding the many cultures and backgrounds that exist in South Africa. The first challenge introduced the finalists to Banyana Banyana, ahead of their departure for the World Cup, and showcased the value of national pride. The finalists then had to create a favourite dish and explain what it meant to them before inviting fellow contestants to taste it. For their main challenge, the women gave a five-minute TED Talk about their heritage, how their community and family had become an integral part of who they are and why they should represent the Miss South Africa brand. The episode ended with a photo shoot that focused on African cultures. The winner of episode 4 was the Eastern Cape’s Homba Mazaleni, with the award-winning fashion designer Khosi Nkosi as the guest judge.


Oosthuysen answered some questions:


What has been the best thing that has happened during your Miss South Africa journey and what has been the hardest?

“To be a finalist for Miss South Africa has always been one of my biggest dreams and it is such a huge honour to know that this dream became a reality. Being part of this platform was everything (and more) than I could have ever imagined. I have grown as a woman, learned so much about myself and saw just how amazing my support network is. There were so many standout moments during this whole process. Working with the whole Miss South Africa team, being part of Crown Chasers, spending time with the other contestants and getting to know myself more. This entire process was so enriching! The hardest part was the elimination process.”


Would you do it all over again?

“Yes, because it is an amazing opportunity! Miss South Africa has given me the opportunity and platform to get my message and advocacy across.”


What did you learn about yourself?

“I have learned that I am strong, smart, work well under pressure and no matter what, I always stay true to myself.”


What is your message to the remaining Miss South Africa contestants?

“Getting to know each and every one of them has been the biggest privilege and I know they are all so capable and ready to lead by example. I hope they continue to shine their lights and show South Africa just how incredible they are.”


What next?

“I will take some time to re-evaluate my goals and dreams. I am so passionate about the youth of our country and my future plans will entail getting my message across. How exactly this will be done I can’t say, I am just so excited to see what the future may hold.” 


Do you have a message for all those who have supported you?

“Words will never be enough to thank everyone who supported me throughout this journey. It is such a beautiful thing to see how other people believe in your dreams with you, and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you so much to all those who walked this journey with me. I would not be where I am today without their love and support. Those who know me, know that this is not where my story ends. When you walk with purpose, you always collide with your destiny.”


Episode 5 of Crown Chasers – Crusading for your Cause – is the final episode in the series and showcases the importance of giving back. The remaining finalists are taken to Phefeni High School where, alongside the Imbumba Foundation, they talk about the importance of menstrual health and food security. The main challenge is the final interview with each woman presenting their CSI platform to the judges and revealing how they see themselves making a difference in the country. The final photo shoot finds the finalists alongside the current Miss South Africa Ndavi Nokeri and runs as a preliminary challenge to the finale. The elimination process takes place with guest judges that include fashion designer Gert Johan Coetzee, business mogul Koo Govender and former Miss South Africa 2010, Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala.


Crown Chasers viewers and Miss South Africa fans are encouraged to vote for their favourite Crown Chaser via the official Miss South Africa App which can also be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Voting is open from now until August 7 at 10h00.


Miss South Africa 2023 will be crowned at the SunBet Arena at Time Square in Pretoria on Sunday, August 13.


Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with Sun International. SABC3 is the official broadcast partner.