Abigail de Jager is a South African model best known for being one of the Top 12 finalists in the 2014 Miss South Africa pageant.
Miss SA Q&A
West Acres, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
Student, studying B Comm Business Management at Stellenbosch University. I finished first year in 2013. My goal in obtaining this qualification is to equip and prepare myself for entering the business world one day.
I believe that the university experience truly shapes one, especially when studying so far from home. It teaches me how to be independent; it's remarkable how I've grown in the last year.
What lessons did you learn during The Road to Miss SA TV shoot at Sun City?
I learnt how to be more patient with people in times where things weren't always going according to how you would like it to be and in situations where the people you are working or competing with have different opinions and ways of doing things.
The second lesson links up with the first and that is learning how to work with people and accommodate others.
What were the highlights of your Sun City stay?
It was when we got to touch an elephant just before our safari make-up challenge. I've had an urge to come in contact with this incredible animal for quite a while now, so I felt incredibly privileged and blessed.
The main highlight, though, was meeting all these incredible people that we were privileged to work with, starting with the other contestants. The friendships I have formed have made my experience incredible.
Why do you want to be Miss SA and what do you think you will be able to bring to the role?
I would like the opportunity to reach out to others who aren't as lucky to have such a blessed life. I would love to be a blessing to an even larger group of people. I would be able to bring my personality and sense of humour, as my name means Father's Joy, to the role. I love to laugh and believe that a day without laughter is a wasted day.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you?
Jo-Ann Strauss. She has managed to keep up appearances, if one can put it that way. She didn't just fade after her year of reign; she managed to create a career afterwards, where she continues to help and inspire others. I feel that you shouldn't just have a year's reign and then it's all over.
Who are your role models?
Malala Yousafzai, she is known for her activism for rights to education for women. The Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Malala, at the age of 11–12, wrote a blog under a false name for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, as well as her views on promoting education for girls.
She was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by South African social rights activist Desmond Tutu. On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. Even though she was attacked for what she believes in, she kept on fighting for what she was passionate about.
Tell us a bit more about your family?
My mother is a teacher at the high school we attended, Hoërskool Nelspruit. She is strict, but has a great sense of humour as well.
My father is a civil engineer at Lidwala; he is serious but has a very warm and kind heart. I've got two sisters; Charlotte (20) studying BSc Consumer Science at Potchefstroom. We are extremely close and I consider her as one of my best friends.
Liezl (16), my younger sister, is very sporty and energetic. I have a very open relationship with my parents and am very close with both of them. I also have an extremely supportive and loving family in Cape Town, consisting of my two uncles (and aunts) as well as my three cousins.
My family is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest treasures in my life!
What do you do in your spare time?
Walking and hiking are definitely my favourite pastimes. I'm starting to read again, now that I'm on holiday and have more time.
2014 is the year in which SA celebrates its 20th year of democracy – what does that mean to you?
I'm a freedom baby, so I am lucky to have skipped the whole apartheid period. Democracy means to respect others and their abilities or disabilities, not to exclude or belittle anyone for not fitting the mould. Democracy means to accept everyone for what they have to offer and embrace and use it, instead of shooting it down.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
That they should stay true to who they are and what they believe in. I am a strong believer that people should not compromise their values in order to fit in with their surroundings or be accepted.
If you won the Miss SA crown and was able to meet one person, who would it be and why?
Beyoncé, I love her! I've watched a few of her live DVDs and she just has an absolute passion for what she does. She lives and breathes what she does; I would like to feel the same about what I do one day.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I won a hoola-hoop competition in primary school. I've stayed in six towns (including Cape Town) over the last 19 years. I like to eat odd food concoctions, like peanut butter with carrot.
What are you reading?
How Could He Do It? It's about a father that sexually assaulted his daughter for five years. I'm a real fan of Jodi Picoult.
What is on your iPod?
Bastille and Mumford & Sons.
Your favourite TV show?
Your favourite meal?