Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has won the 66th Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Entertainment Lead South Africa

Congratulations pour in for new Miss Universe Nel-Peters

JOHANNESBURG, November 27 – Messages of congratulations continue to pour in for Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters after she won the 66th Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas latte Sunday (early Monday morning South African time).

 

 
Nel-Peters became only the second South African to win the title after Margaret Gardiner, who triumphed in 1978. She competed against 91 contestants from around the globe, the biggest number of entrants in the history of the competition.

 

 
South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated Nel-Peters, the reigning Miss South Africa, saying that she had made the country proud.

 

 

 
“Our nation is immensely proud of Ms Demi-Leigh for this tremendous achievement. She has hoisted the South African flag higher and continues to inspire many young women who look up to her, to reach even higher for their dreams,” Zuma said.

 

 

 
“We congratulate her most heartily and wish her all the best during her reign which is South Africa’s reign.”
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa also congratulated Nel-Peters on Twitter, saying: “Thank you representing us with distinction and flying our flag high”.

 

 

 
The African National Congress Youth League national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said: “We hope that she will use this position of influence to become a good role model for young girls in the country, the continent and even the globe. Her rise to the thrown must become a source of inspiration for many other young people in this country.”

 

 

 
The 22-year-old from Sedgefield in the Western Cape was one of the hot favourites going into the pageant and outdid the top 16 comprised four entrants from Asia Pacific and Africa; four from Europe; four from the Americas and four wild cards voted for by the judges.

 

 

 
In her acceptance speech Nel-Peters said she was both proud and humbled to have won and that her dreams had become a reality.

 

 

 
“I resonate with everything that the Miss Universe organisation stands for, especially empowering women across the globe. I have always tried to be the example of the change I want to see in the world, and this platform will give me the opportunity to make a difference,” Nel-Peters said.

 

 

 
“I hope I have made South Africans proud and that I will continue to do so during my reign.”

 

 

Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has won the 66th Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

The announcement was made in the US late on Sunday (early Monday morning South African time) that Nel-Peters has been crowned Miss Universe. She becomes the first Miss South Africa to take this prestigious title since Margaret Gardiner won in 1978.

At the pageant, held in Las Vegas in the US, an ecstatic Demi-Leigh competed against 91 contestants from around the globe – the biggest number of entrants in the history of the competition – and justified the faith thousands of South Africans had that she would win.

The runners-up were Miss Colombia (first princess) and Miss Jamaica (second princess).

The 22-year-old from Sedgefield in the Western Cape was one of the hot favourites going into the pageant and outdid the top 16 comprised four entrants from Asia Pacific and Africa; four from Europe; four from the Americas and four wild cards voted for by the judges.

In her acceptance speech Demi-Leigh said she was both proud and humbled to have won and that her dreams had become a reality.

“I resonate with everything that the Miss Universe organisation stands for, especially empowering women across the globe. I have always tried to be the example of the change I want to see in the world, and this platform will give me the opportunity to make a difference. I hope I have made South Africans proud and that I will continue to do so during my reign,” she said.

During her time as Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh launched her highly successful “Unbreakable” campaign to empower thousands of young girls and women in her homeland, by teaching them skills on how to handle difficult situations like hijackings, muggings, robberies and toxic relationships.
She partnered with specialists to give women the necessary knowledge to be able to handle any unwanted situations. She held six workshops around South Africa and has said she would like to promote this campaign internationally.

Demi-Leigh wowed both the judges and the audience in a sheer flesh-toned, long-sleeved hand beaded dress by Anel Botha. It was inspired by the constellations and consisted of 50,000 hand placed Swarovski crystals which took a team of eight people 168 hours to complete.

The Miss Universe pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham.

Judges for the finale included Wendy Fitzwilliam (Miss Universe 1998 from Trinidad and Tobago); Jay Manuel (TV host, creative director and makeup artist); Ross Mathews (TV personality); Megan Olivi (Fox Sports 1 host and reporter); Lele Pons (Vine and YouTube personality) and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015 from the Philippines).

Before she was crowned Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh had completed her B. Com in business management and entrepreneurship and was a part-time model.

Demi-Leigh’s family including, father and stepmother Bennie and Elzabé Peters and mother and stepfather Anne-Mari and Johan Steenkamp were in the audience.

“Demi-Leigh has worked incredibly hard for the past few years to achieve this goal and we are all so proud of her,” said a tearful Elzabé.

Chief Executive Jose Dos Santos of Miss South Africa sponsors Cell C: “We at Cell C could not be more delighted with Demi-Leigh’s win at the Miss Universe pageant.
“We know that she will make South Africans proud and will leave a tangible legacy for the Miss Universe brand as she continues to empower and inspire women all over the world. She is living proof of our brand values, that if you dream it and believe it you can achieve anything with hard work and passion.”
Sun International PR Manager Claudia Henkel: “We at Sun International are very proud of Demi-Leigh. It has been an exciting few years for us, as the licence holders of Miss South Africa, as we have had two international pageant winners crowned. First with Rolene Strauss winning Miss World and now Demi-Leigh as Miss Universe. She is most certainly going to make South Africa proud”.

 

 

ANA

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