President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the reigning Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, on being crowned Miss Universe 2017.

“Our nation is immensely proud of Ms Nel-Peters 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.

“We congratulate her most heartily and wish her all the best during her reign, which is South Africa’s reign,” said President Zuma.

The beauty pageant took place on Sunday in Las Vegas in the United States of America.

Nel-Peters became the second South African to win the title after Margaret Gardiner, who won the title in 1978.

On Sunday, she competed against 91 contestants from around the globe, the biggest number of entrants in the history of the competition.

Here are the costumes that helped her on her journey in the past couple of weeks to scoop the title:

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters debuts her National Costume on stage at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on November 18, 2017. The National Costume Show is an international tradition where contestants display an authentic costume of choice that best represents the culture of their home country. Demi’s costume is inspired by South Africa’s national flower – the Protea – the ensemble was designed by Malikah Hajee and Lloyd Kandlin and their team at The Costume Department. . HO/The Miss Universe Organization
Demi-Leigh with the Miss Universe 2016 (Miss France Iris Mittenaere)
Demi-Leigh showing what her Protea costume could do before she left SA. Source: Miss South Africa
Demi-Leigh in Miss Universe Swimwear  on 15 November 2017. Source: Miss South Africa – “This bikini is from a brand called Yamamay.”
Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in her Evening Gown. Source: Miss Universe
Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in her ‘glam shot’. Source: Miss Universe
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss South Africa 2017; with Sarah Idan, Miss Iraq 2017; Maria Poonlertlarp, Miss Thailand 2017; Yana Krasnikova, Miss Ukraine 2017; and Natividad Leivi, Miss Chile 2017; by the pool in swimwear by Yamamay at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on November 15, 2017. HO/The Miss Universe Organization

The new Miss Universe thanked her fellow South Africans for the support throughout her journey:

“South Africa, thank you for [the] support and love throughout my Miss Universe journey. I may be the new Miss Universe but I will always be your Miss South Africa. We did it!” said an elated Nel-Peters through her Twitter account.

The first runner-up was Laura Gonzalez of Colombia, followed by hot favourite Davina Bennett of Jamaica, who took the title as the second runner-up.

According to the Miss Universe Organization, the competition places priority on the importance of getting involved and giving back by providing a dedicated international platform of charitable partnerships.

As leaders and role models within their communities, the titleholders work to affect positive change through volunteering, fundraising and advocacy. During their reign, winners of this competition raise awareness and much needed funds for philanthropic endeavours. 


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