SA Music News had the pleasure of chatting with beautiful Mrs South Africa entrant and Semi-finalist, Tasnim Young-Norris. Currently preparing for her next round of judging, next week, Tasnim sheds some light on her incredibly inspirational story.
Growing up in Wentworth, Durban, Tasnim was generally a happy child who particularly loved beauty and dress up, with a keen interest in beauty pageants. When Tasnim was 15 she was chosen by Fair Lady Magazine as one of 10 teenagers for a beauty competition and had always envisioned herself entering Miss SA someday. She left her home town for Johannesburg at the age of 16 to live with her Aunt, and attended Klip Town high in Eldorado Park for her final two years of High school. At that time she had dreams of being an air hostess and travelling the world.
After school Tasnim studied for her marketing diploma and worked as a marketing manager for many years. She then began working for a chemical company about seven years ago, before changing direction to become a quality management systems specialist. Most recently, after covid-19 broke out, she realized that even if she wasn’t a medical practitioner, she could be useful in the field of occupational Health & safety and decided to pursue this as her career of choice.
On speaking about the personal side of her life, Tasnim acknowledges that not growing up with her Father had a definite effect on her self-worth as a teen, seeking love in the wrong places, and accepting the love she thought she deserved, which ultimately led her to choosing the wrong partner.
After a turbulent and unhappy relationship, exposed to mental and physical abuse, Tasnim, Mother of two, explains that it took time to get back to herself – to find self-love and self-worth after being broken down mentally and physically. She is now blissfully married to the love of her life, Brendan Norris.
As a healing survivor of abuse, the daunting experience has inspired Tasnim to become a vocal activist against Gender Based Violence, who defiantly speaks out against this heinous crime against woman, which, more often than not, is hidden behind closed doors.
If that wasn’t enough, Tasnim found herself in yet another fight for her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. Once again, this warrior of a woman can victoriously declare that she has been in remission for the past five years and going strong!
Today, Tasnim is a happy go lucky person, content with her life, positive and realistic, who loves to listen to old school RnB music in her free time. She feels that the Mrs South Africa contest is life, yet again, giving her a second chance to do what she dreamed of doing.
Tasnim says, in all honesty, she entered Mrs South Africa as a beauty competition, and realized two weeks in that there was so much more to the journey than anticipated. She now knows that the pageant is about “beauty with a purpose”. Things have changed so much since entering – her purpose in life has changed, and she realizes that there is so much more she can do, especially when it comes to Gender based violence.
She finds herself being referred to as “a beacon of hope” to those who need faith and reassurance that there is life and happiness on the other side of abuse. She knows that it is not easy for women who have suffered trauma or difficult childhoods to come back or heal from that dark part of their lives, but says that the turning point is learning to love yourself first. Once you have found that worthiness and love again, you are able to give it to others.
The Mrs South Africa journey has provided Tasnim an enormous platform to help others by sharing her story, not only on the topic of GBV, but on Breast cancer and raising awareness. Teaching women the importance of taking care of their bodies, going for the checkups and bringing positivity and hope to those who are currently facing cancer by sharing her knowledge through first hand experience and unwavering support. She has always prided herself in being a social person, comfortably being around people, bringing them joy and upliftment and a listening ear.
” I wish I could be one of those pageant Princesses who stands up saying “I want world peace”, because that is honestly what I would love, but realistically life doesn’t work that way and we go through so much, especially being female. As woman, we don’t realize how strong we are until we are in a situation where we have to pick ourselves up – and we do! We find the strength there! “
Tasnim explains that the Mrs South Africa pageant is all about sisterhood. It teaches the ladies that the only person they are really in competition with, is themselves. ” I don’t feel like I’m in competition with the other semi-finalists because we have created this sisterhood where we uplift each other – when we feel overwhelmed, we talk to each other, we see who needs help with their sponsorships and try as much as possible to be there for each other and that’s one of the things that I am loving about this journey” she says.
What Tasnim has taken from this experience is huge. She is delighted that she has been able to reach so many women on her journey, saying that she has gained so much confidence stepping out of her comfort zone and gained so much strength from the experience that she just wants to give that back to those who need it!
Next week Thursday is crunch time for our Mrs South Africa semi-finalists as judging commences for the Top 25. The finalists will be announced at the Winter Ball on the 1st July. We are holding fingers and toes for our favourite Princess and know that wherever she is going, she is taking everyone with her!
Catch Tasnim and some of her fellow contestants live on her Instagram this Thursday (23rd June) as they discuss and share their journey as Mrs SA Semi-finalists.
Follow Tasnim Young-Norris Online