This year, Miss South Africa has two finalists who have been working as international models.
Chantelle Pretorius (Pretoria) and Jordan van der Vyver (Cape Town) are full-time international models, who usually spend half the year travelling and working overseas. Of course, this year was a bit different with the arrival of Covid-19 putting the kibosh on travel.
The two top 10 finalists offered insight into their life abroad and shared a few travel secrets.
Van der Vyver started modelling part-time in 2010 and, by 2014, it became a full-time career. Pretorius has been in it since she was 17 and got signed by a London agency when she was 20.
On what it’s like to be modelling on an international platform what a normal workday is like, Van der Vyver said: “Each city has a routine but generally on a shoot day in the studio, I wake up early to work out before call time. I get to set early with clean hair, face and nails and then the make-up artist and hairstylist set up while I have a coffee and some fruit.
“Once they’re set up, I get my hair and make-up done, which takes an hour or two, and then go straight into wardrobe while the photographer prepares the set and lighting. The first shot takes the longest, but after that, we get into a rhythm, and it’s easy-going from there. In the afternoon we have a lunch break, touch-ups for hair and make-up then finish shooting the rest of the clothes. At the end of the shoot, I take off my make-up, go home and head out to the gym if I didn’t get to the gym that morning.”
However, things aren’t always as rosy as they look. Both models have had tough times travelling abroad but it was Pretorius who was unlucky when she travelled with a “weapon” and was fined for it.
Sharing her worst travelling experience, she said: “Once I made the mistake of travelling with a can of pepper spray which I accidentally packed in my hand luggage on a flight from Munich to Berlin. I was horrified when airport security pulled me aside and started asking questions about why I had a ’weapon’ in my possession.
“I tried to explain that I was carrying it for self-defence as I was travelling alone, but the airport police informed me that not only was it against the law to fly with pepper spray, it’s also seen as an illegal weapon in Germany. They informed me the matter couldn’t be resolved by airport security and they decided to call the German State Police, while I had to wait for them accompanied by border security officers. Eventually, I was fined 300 Euros (almost R6 000) and got a stern warning from the police.”
When asked about the things they miss about South Africa when they’re overseas, Pretorius said: “The weather, the food and the affordable lifestyle! Also, biltong, proper steak and homemade rusks are a few of the foods I miss the most when travelling.”
Van der Vyver added: “Woolworths (actually all our brands), the quality of our food; and, I dearly miss my loved ones.”
The Miss South Africa 2020 pageant finale will take place on Saturday, October 24, and will be screened live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.