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With tears of joy rolling down her cheeks Tatum Keshwar accepted the Miss South Africa crown from the outgoing Tansey Coetzee to the roar of deafening applause at the Sun City Superbowl in Pilanesberg on Monday night.
Proving to be third time lucky, the tenacious model had twice unsuccessfully taken a shot at the most coveted beauty crown in the land.
Looking radiant she sat regally on her throne, flanked by first and second princesses Anja van Zyl and Buyi Shongwe.
Whipping up emotion in the packed Superbowl auditorium, she told a charmed audience that her tenacity had finally paid off.
"I knew that one day I was going to wear the Miss SA crown. On the two previous occasions I tried, I was not successful because the timing was not right.
"I was not ready for all the challenges that come with wearing the crown. Today it has happened because I was ready for it.
"I prayed for the title even as I went about my preparations for it. And now that it's finally happened, I can't tell you how ecstatic I am.
"I want to thank all the people who have been sending me messages of support, who helped me to succeed by having faith in me," said the psychology graduate.
Taking a different tack from all previous Miss South Africas, Keshwar said: "Though there is one queen, there are 11 other intelligent finalists. I am talking about talented girls with integrity, whose love for the country and making a difference is just as great as mine.
"So instead of doing this alone, I will draw them into my reign and utilise their skills and talents to fasttrack the realisation of my dreams.
"This will also cover the many charities I have to work with."
She said she would continue modelling, thanks to the many sponsors.
"The only difference is that whatever I do in the coming year will be solely determined by Sun International. But as soon as my reign ends I should go back to the ramp."
Beaming, the newly crowned queen said she could not wait to go back home to Durban where celebrations were already under way.