15 questions for Anneline Kriel


15 questions for Anneline Kriel

ANNELINE KRIEL is enjoying life in Mauritius with her husband, Peter Bacon. She spoke to LAUREEN ROSSOUW while vacationing on their boat off the coast of Turkey.


1. What does a day in Anneline Kriel's life look like?

One of five dogs wakes up and shakes himself or herself around 4.30am. Then the other four dogs also shake themselves to make sure everyone is awake. A dog lies at my feet on the bed and we slowly wake up.

Peter makes tea and I give our dogs their breakfast. We get back into bed to watch the news on TV while enjoying tea and rusks. Then it's time for a walk on the beach with the dogs. They enjoy it tremendously, and if it is high tide in front of our house, I swim while the dogs play on the beach. Then we shower and get ready for the day. I drink a delicious glass of orange juice that our housekeeper makes.

The rest of the morning we keep ourselves busy going to the shops to buy groceries or working on our computers. We eat our main meal and then it's siesta time.

In the afternoon it is time for another walk on the beach with the dogs; then Peter and I swim at about five o' clock and thereafter we take the dogs for a walk in the garden. 

Afterwards we play Scrabble and chat with our children in various countries around the world before we go to bed. We enjoy watching a movie on TV or Netflix.

Our one dog, Meisie, barks incessantly when we don't stay on schedule. This only happens when we go to eat at a restaurant or visit friends.

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2. What do you listen to when you're alone?

I like golden oldies, and on a Sunday morning Peter and I listen to LM Radio, which broadcasts on Radio Garden.

3. What are you reading and your favourite author?

The last of three parts of the book A Coloured in Full Flight given to me by the author, Georgie Calverley. It is an honest and interesting life story of a gay coloured boy in South Africa during the apartheid and later years.

I find many writers' life stories interesting, such as those of Herman Charles Bosman and Ernest Hemingway. I enjoy true stories and history.


4. If you could repeat your year as Miss World, what would you do differently?

Nothing! It was a year full of unexpected events with many unexpected experiences that taught me to swim at the deep end and survive. During that year I learned that life is not necessarily fair and not to trust people easily.

5. Your hobbies? 

I don't really have any hobbies. I enjoy working in the garden and I like to go snorkelling among the tropical fish of Mauritius. We also enjoy sailing around the island on our boat.

I help my youngest daughter when necessary. She produces a swimwear line in Mauritius known as LAYA and she has a store in Los Angeles where she lives. Sometimes the distance between the two places is too far to make decisions without being physically present.

I like photography, although I am not a photographer. Black and white photography is my favourite.

6. What do you look at first when you meet someone?

I look into their eyes. They are the window to the soul. Eyes that stare straight into yours tell me it's someone who is sure of themselves. Eyes that move around, and someone who can't look you in the eye, are hiding something — at least that's what I think. Afterwards, I often realise that I can't remember how the person was dressed.

7. Quality you like least about yourself?

I sometimes argue a lot with people around me and always want to make my point. I think if I kept quiet more and didn't talk back, I would have saved myself a lot of grey hair, because I can get so angry when I defend my ideas.

8. Your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is cleaning. I enjoy walking aimlessly around my house and cleaning out cupboards. I like the feeling when something is clean and orderly. It takes my mind off everything and I relax. At the end of the day I feel I have achieved something: a clean room or house.

9. A special talent you wish you had?

I would have liked to be a singer. I tried with He Took Off My Romeos, but realised I didn't have that talent. My friend Marloe Scott Wilson tried to help me, but it was still difficult. The rhythm was reggae and it was interesting, but it was new and unfamiliar to me.


10. What keeps you awake at night?

The farm murders in South Africa bother me and keep me awake at night when I lie thinking about so many farmers on remote farms who live in fear when it gets dark and quiet in the evening. When the slightest sound terrifies you.

11. What inspires you?

I am inspired by people's will to realise their dreams at any cost. People like Elon Musk who think out of the box, even that life on Mars can continue as on Earth. The will to set an ideal for yourself and work towards that ideal until it becomes a reality is inspiring.

12. Your biggest dream?

I am currently working on a dream. I wrote a story based on my experiences at the Miss World competition and my dream will come true if I can film it. I enjoy writing and I am also working on a true story about a Mauritian windsurfer.

13. A superpower you wish you had?

The gift of alleviating the suffering of animals. I will make sure that no animal suffers. That their owners behave lovingly towards them and care for them. Animals do not have a voice and are completely dependent on human decisions and actions.

I have five dogs. Elvis is a Jack Russell and the male among four females. Their names are Bella, Meisie, Honey and Angel and they are all rescue dogs. One was rescued from the beach, one was put over the fence as a puppy, Meisie is from the town of Curepipe and we picked up Angel on the side of the road and she was almost dead.

14. Your biggest fear?

I fear for South Africa's future. I feel the country is at a point where cruelty and rebellion can break out between different groups of people and I feel the ANC will not be able to stop it due to the abuse of authority. After almost 30 years of ANC government, there are still so many South Africans living in poverty and insecurity. After so many years, it is surely time that everyone should have equal opportunities and B-BBEE no longer has a place in our economy.

15. How does it feel for a former Miss World to grow older?

Everyone you meet thinks you must be beautiful, have the perfect body, no matter how old you are. It takes a specific mindset to deal with this and to avoid getting emotional when you see people are disappointed that you don't look 40.

I deal with it with a sense of humour and a chuckle, because life is so much more than physical beauty.

I have certainly been blessed with beauty and I am grateful for the experiences it has offered me. That's why I know every young girl is a beauty.


♦ VWB ♦

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