For today’s Miss SA 2022 feature, we have Tamsyn Jack, the Somerset West-born Top 10 finalist. The twenty-five-year-old Western Cape native is a Stellenbosch University alumnus, having obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science, and she’s also an entrepreneur and the owner of Pique Digital. With her entrepreneurial bent, she aspires to serve young South African women, whom she sees not merely as people she represents but those she wishes to empower through mentorships and building connections to help them level up.
Moziak touched base with Tamsyn about her ascent to the Miss SA Top 10 dais, what it means to her to get this far in the competition, and her plans for the future.
Congratulations on making it to the Top 10. How do you feel about reaching this milestone?
Tamsyn: I am truly grateful to have been given this opportunity. Because this is my first pageant, I am incredibly proud of myself for boldly stepping out of my comfort zone.
I attended Miss South Africa 2021. It was the first-ever pageant that I’d spectated, and I remember being in awe of the production and the girls. After Lalela had been crowned as the new Miss South Africa, Anele Mdoda came off the stage, grabbed my arm, looked me straight in the eyes, and asked me why I was not one of the girls on stage. It gives me chills to think that, this time, I will be on that stage.
What drew you to the world of pageantry?
Tamsyn: I’ve known for a couple of years now that my Godly purpose is to serve young women who do not believe they are worthy and capable of achieving great things. I wasn’t sure if Miss South Africa was the right platform for me because I am the furthest thing from the quintessential “pageant girl”.
As a businesswoman, I am forever placing my time, effort and energy into places where I can expect to receive a good return, and Miss SA offers me that exactly.
The Miss South Africa brand has grown from strength to strength over the last couple of years and undeniably carries huge power and influence. Even though this platform has traditionally been a beauty pageant, it has certainly evolved. The Miss South Africa platform has virtually become the biggest leadership platform for young women in our country.
Even as a finalist, I can now walk into rooms and talk to people I might never have had the opportunity to speak to otherwise.
Ultimately, I am here to grow as a human being, network, build my personal brand, and use this new influence to serve young women better.
How has your journey in this awe-inspiring competition been thus far?
Tamsyn: A rollercoaster of emotions! I know this is a contest, but coming into the competition, I was genuinely looking forward to connecting with like-minded women and building life-long friendships with my fellow contestants. I have been blown away by the calibre of the rest of the Top 30 and 10 contestants. It has been nothing short of incredible to share these experiences with other intelligent, accomplished, mature, and ambitious young women.
I’ve also been very pleasantly surprised at my personal growth thus far. As each day passes, I can feel myself becoming more confident and more sure of myself and the value I bring to the table.
I’m still coming to terms with the fact that my life has forever been changed since being thrown into the limelight. Even though the love and support have been unreal, there has also been a lot of public scrutiny and criticism online. It is certainly strange to read harsh opinions and assumptions about you from people who have never met you before. But I am learning not to take everything to heart and to reserve my energy for things that truly matter.
What has been the most memorable moment of your journey in the pageant?
Tamsyn: The most memorable moment was the first week back home after our first stretch in Johannesburg with the girls and the organization. I could see how much I had changed and grown, and it was evident to all those closest to me. The girl who had left was not the same girl who came back.
South Africa has various socio-economic issues. Which of these are you most passionate about tackling?
Tamsyn: I am passionate about the education of young girls. Our young girls have the power to uplift entire communities. According to a finding by World Bank, on average, women with secondary education are more likely to work and earn almost twice as much as those with no education. Secondary school education for girls also brings the near elimination of child marriage, lowers fertility rates by one-third in countries with high population growth, and reduces child mortality and malnutrition.
Women with secondary education are less likely to experience intimate partner violence, report higher levels of psychological well-being, and have healthier children who are more likely to go to school.
But we all know that a girl does not become educated simply by attending school. The obstacles she faces both in and out of the classroom often derail her education.
I believe every young girl should have access to a mentor, someone to demonstrate confidence and strength and guide her along the path of accomplishing her dreams.
My goal with my #mentorshipmatters campaign is to bring entrepreneurial and leadership workshops to girls in high schools in underprivileged communities. Inspirational and aspirational industry experts lead the workshops, which can equip them with the necessary knowledge and tools they will need to enter the world of business.
I have partnered with a company called Her Business Class, which is an online course that teaches female small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs the A-Zs of starting, running, and scaling a business successfully online in South Africa.
I aim to connect my #mentorshipmatters girls with our community of female business owners with the hopes of facilitating work internships and mentor-mentee relationships.
We celebrated Youth Month a few weeks ago. What lessons do you think the youth of today can learn from the resilient youth of 1976?
Tamsyn: Youth Month is a month where we celebrate tomorrow’s leaders, trailblazers, and game-changers. The message of Youth Month is that our young people’s voices matter. You are never too young to lead the way in making a meaningful contribution to society.
The Miss South Africa pageant is set to take place in August. What are your plans from now until then?
Tamsyn: I’m giving this my 110%. I’m working extremely hard at making sure that I can be confident and content with my preparations coming into our second stretch in August until the finals.
I want to be proud of myself and my performance in various aspects, and I want to know that I’ve done absolutely everything in my power to ensure the best chance of winning.
As all roads lead to August for the crowning of Miss SA 2022, Tamsyn has already fulfilled part of Anele Mdoda’s prophecy. With all her skills, growth, wholesome outlook, and reach that has gotten her this far, the Western Cape beauty will be hoping to take the crown to elevate herself to the next level.