Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier is crowned Miss South Africa
Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier, 26, is the new Miss South Africa 2019. She assumes the mantle from title holder, Zozibini Tunzi, who was crowned Miss Universe in December 2019.
Sasha-Lee said she was thrilled to wear the Miss South Africa crown.
“I am so happy for Zozi who deserves, in every way, to wear the Miss Universe sash. I wish her every success. I step into big shoes. I just want Zozi to know that I will do my best to fill them.”
Speaking from New York, Zozi said she was delighted that Sasha-Lee would be taking over from her.
“I cannot think of anyone who is more suitable to be Miss South Africa. Sasha has it all: beauty, brains and, above all, a commitment to help others. I have no doubt that she will use her reign to help improve the lot of those in need.”
Miss South Africa Organisation CEO, Stephanie Weil said Sasha-Lee would, going forward, assume all Miss South Africa duties, as well as fulfilling her obligations to the sponsors.
“We are happy to announce Sasha as the new Miss South Africa because she is fully committed and ready to begin her reign.”
Nthabiseng Phoshoko, Commercial Director at Miss SA sponsor, LFP (SA’s leading provider of BEE aligned skills development training solutions) said: “We cannot be more proud to support Sasha-Lee as she is crowned Miss South Africa. We are honoured to be able to support her important, extremely necessary, campaign.”
Gareth Flusk, events and entertainment manager at Sun International, said: “Sasha steps very comfortably into the Miss SA role. Her inspirational campaign will bring relief to many who need it, something that we are more than pleased to a part of.”
Sasha said: “Taking over the Miss South Africa title means that I am able to continue working to help women who, like me, have been sexually abused. It will be a top priority for me during my time as Miss South Africa.”
She intends to continue to devote her time to The Beauty with a Purpose campaign that she took to the Miss World pageant in December 2019.
Sasha-Lee’s #itsnotyourfault campaign is aimed at making sure that people who, like her, have endured sexual assault, know that they are not to blame for their abuse.
As a survivor of rape and sexual abuse, Sasha-Lee’s campaign is designed to support, inspire and help girls, boys, women and men who, like her, have survived sexual abuse.
She says she chose #ItsNotYourFault because “A very deep sense of shame accompanies rape and long term sexual abuse. Those who have suffered at the hands of the predators and perpetrators feel responsible for their own abuse, and are profoundly ashamed of what is happening, or has happened, to them.
“We need to change the commonly held perception regarding this – the shame does not lie with the victim at all.”
Drawing from her own negative experience, Sasha-Lee is reaching out to women and girls (and boys and men) when they are at their most vulnerable, reporting their attack at poorly equipped police stations.
She has joined forces with Penny Stein and the Angel Network to identify sexual abuse hot spots and provide Rape Comfort Kits.
15 Facts About Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier
Quote from Sasha-Lee: “I was sexually abused from the age of 7 to 11 which was traumatic. However, as traumatic as the years of abuse at the hands of a close relative was the fact that nobody believed me when I told them. I carried a deep sense of shame, believing for years that the constant attacks on me were my fault. I want men, women and children to know that they are not to blame for their abuse. It is why I have chosen to emotionally support those people who have survived rape and sexual assault through my #itsnotyourfault campaign. This is my Beauty With A Purpose campaign that I am taking onto the global stage at Miss World, 2019, held in London this year. It is time for us to stand up for those who are vulnerable, at a time when they need our love and support the most.”
- Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier (born in Alberton, Johannesburg on October 18, 1992) is an entrepreneur and model, currently pursuing a double major in marketing and psychology at Wits. She says her passion lies in social development.
- She works tirelessly to redefine and broaden the definition of what it means to be beautiful, supporting campaigns founded on principles of inclusivity and equal representation. She wants women to know there is power in embracing all that they are – whether it be their body-type or their story.
- She is inspired by former Miss South Africa Amy Kleinhans-Curd (1992) because she displayed courage in choosing not to carry the old South African flag.
- Her role models are:
- Vusi Thembekwayo an entrepreneur whose tenacity in the face of adversity she admires;
- Ashley Graham whose approach to #body positive has never excluded any body-type;
- Oprah Winfrey who, she says, taught her that “walking in my truth would be the most powerful thing I do”.
- The eldest of three sisters, family is important to Sasha Lee. She ,is in awe of her mother whose strength as a woman and as a single mother she admires.
- Sasha Lee is keen on fishing and loves nothing more than quiet time with a rod and reel. She also likes the quiet contemplative space provided by art galleries.
- An unusual hobby is finding and climbing to the top of whatever tall building she can to take in the view of the city at night!
- Sasha Lee believes she has a responsibility to build on the legacy of strong South African women and “to continue the fight against the injustices women are facing, whether it be self-acceptance, equality, or gender-based violence”.
- She believes that beauty pageants contribute meaningfully to society. “Like sport, they bring a country and the world together, acting as a vehicle that drives awareness on socio-economic issues. A shining example of this would be the “Beauty with a Purpose Projects” and the introduction of biodegradable sanitary towels that not only keep the girl child in school, but are also eco-friendly.”
- FUN FACT: Sasha Lee loves vintage video games!
- BRAIN FACT: Sasha Lee takes inspiration from Michelle Obama, a strong powerful woman.
- MUSIC FACT: On any day of the week I am a proud member of the Bey-hive and I also love Coldplay, Shekinah and Nasty C.
- FAVOURITE TV SITCOM: The Big Bang Theory
- FAVOURITE MEAL: Pizza, cheesecake. Cheese is a favourite food.
- CRAZIEST THING, EVER: Flying in an old Czech fighter jet doing barrel rolls in the sky!!