Johannesburg, Dec 17: Tatum Keshwar, a South African model of Indian origin, was crowned Miss South Africa Tuesday evening at a gala banquet at Sun City.
It was a case of second time lucky for 24-year-old psychology graduate Keshwar who persevered after participating in the contest in 2005. She was then named Model of the Year, but did not make it to the top five after being part of the top 10 contestants.
"Hope, pray and cry!" was how Keshwar described her strategy for winning the prestigious title which will now see her represent South Africa at the Miss World pageant, which will again be hosted in Johannesburg next year.
On Saturday evening, Keshwar was in the audience at the Sandton Convention Centre here when Miss India Parvathy Omanakkuttan was named the first runner-up to Miss World 2008 Kseniya Sukhinova of Russia as the two beat contestants from 110 other countries.
Keshwar said she had come to the contest to win, but believed that even if she did not, she would go back home with many memories and new friends.
Conceding that she was not necessarily friends with every one, Keshwar said she was leaving Sun City with some friends that she would remember for the rest of her life.
Delving a little into politics, the new Miss South Africa said she would love to meet the new leader of the country after the general elections due in the first half of next year: "I`d like to give him or her the youth perspective (as) the onus for the future of this country rests with the youth."
Keshwar was also named Model of the Year in her hometown of Durban earlier this year.