Article By: Thamar Houliston

Fri, 06 Feb 2009 08:19

Tatum Keshwar, Miss South Africa 2009 Durban modelTatum Keshwar — the newly-crowned Miss South Africa — is a strong, dynamic and beautiful young woman, who only two months into her reign, has already established herself as an inspiration. Speaking to Tatum I realised that she certainly recognises her role as the new Miss South Africa, but also knows what’s most important — her close friends and family.

Hailing from Durban, the 25-year-old model is passionate about all things local, which is why she’s coming to Cape Town this weekend (7-8 February) for the Cape Town Tens tournament, taking place at Hamilton Rugby Club. Talking about being ‘rooted’, she says that her role-models all rank as strong South African businesswomen who have established themselves in South Africa. Although there’s a long list of local women who inspire her, Tatum says the two she would say who are at the top of her list are Basetsana Khumalo (who she got to spend a little time with at this last weekend’s J&B Met) and Jo-Ann Strauss.

Homegrown and headstrong

You may also have seen Tatum on the ramps at the recent Audi Joburg Fashion Week. Yep, no front-row tickets for Tatum, she prefers to get involved. And she supports local design with her most favourite designers from her hometown, Durban. She names Gideon, Leigh Schubert, Thula Sindi and Gavin Rajah as some of the designers that she really admires. Being a Durban girl she also loves the sunshine, and was delighted to be in Cape Town this last weekend for the J&B Met, with the weather being “absolutely beautiful”, which to a Durban girl means ‘hot’.

Still finding her feet

Since winning the title in December, Tatum has moved to Johannesburg where she’s finding her feet — and she admits, “occasionally I do have to consult a map”. “I’m loving my new role, but my life has taken a complete 180-degree turn since I won, with functions, shoots and so on…

“It has been fantastic meeting new people. A good example was the J&B Met this weekend, where I spoke to so many wonderful people who all were so warm and welcoming, which was really encouraging.” The highlight of Tatum’s reign so far has been receiving an award from the Mayor of Durban for outstanding achievement. Her list of future highlights includes meeting Madiba (of course!), as well as the Miss World pageant in December this year.

Tatum is in Cape Town this weekend for the inaugural Cape Town Tens, where she will be handing out the prizes on Sunday, and will once again be staying at The Table Bay Hotel — a hotel she says is very impressive, especially the five-star service given by the staff, who are warm, caring and thoughtful. “I have stayed in five-star hotels all around the world, and could not believe the wonderful service I got at the Table Bay, from the drivers who went beyond the call of duty to fetch and carry me, to the entire hotel staff,” says Tatum. “The location of the Table Bay is also spectacular with views of the mountain, sea and city, while the attention to detail in the rooms is simply beautiful.”

Absolutely loves Cape Town

Having travelled extensively as a model before being crowned Miss South Africa, Tatum has spent quite a lot of time in Cape Town, and simply loves the place. “There’s nowhere better in the world to watch the sunset than from Clifton,” she says, “I also enjoy just chilling on the beach, and I especially enjoy that it has such a cosmopolitan vibe.” Tatum says she doesn’t really have much spare time on her hands, but she does love reading a good novel and practising yoga.

At the moment she is reading Richard Branson’s book — ‘Screw It, Let’s Do It’ — with the intention of becoming another one of SA’s leading female business minds. Watch out for this beauty, she’s seriously got her head ‘screwed’ on straight, and is bound to be up there with her role-models in no time at all.

Catch Tatum Keshwar at the Cape Town Tens tournament at Hamilton RFC in Green Point this coming weekend.

source: iAfrica/Lifestyle section