In the year 2000, at 8 years of age, Rolene Strauss witnessed the crowning of Jo-Ann Strauss (unrelated) as Miss SA. She dreamed of winning the title herself, and she did so in March 2014. Rolene is a medical student and is currently studying towards her degree at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, but is originally from Volksrust, Mpumalanga
When Strauss was 15 years old, she competed in and won the national selection for the Elite Model Look International. She is the youngest winner nationally and beat 11 other contestants vying for the same title.
Strauss placed in the top 15 of the Elite Model Look International 2007 after competing with 55 contestants. Strauss placed in the top 5 of Miss South Africa 2011 when Melinda Bam became the new titleholder of Miss SA 2011. She returned two years later to compete in the 2013 Pageant and was crowned as Miss South Africa 2014 representing the Free State city of Bloemfontein on March 30, 2014 at a ceremony held at the Sun City Super Bowl, South Africa.
Rolene won the Miss World 2014 title on December 14, 2014. The pageant was held in the Excel Arena in London, UK. She is the third South African to hold the Miss World title and the second to win it outright. She is the first South African who crowned Miss World in 40 years and the first African woman who crowned Miss World in 13 years.