Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel Peters Wins Miss Universe 2017

Tuesday, 28 Nov, 2017

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Miss Jamaica Universe Davina Bennett on her third place finish in the Miss Universe Pageant last evening (Sunday) in Las Vegas.

Nel-Peters is the second Miss Universe from South Africa, ending a 39-year title drought of her country following the victory of Margaret Gardiner in 1978.

"If women take hands and stand together, we are unbreakable", said the 22-year-old representative from South Africa, "and we can say no to the things that are wrong in the workplace, at home or wherever you might go". 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.

"She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for". "So, you can sit here and act like you didn't see what Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway did, but it got me off the hook".

Laura Gonzalez from Colombia was named the runner-up, while Davina Bennett from Jamaica rounded up the top three. She has been preparing to be an actress since she was 16. Jamaica's Solange Sinclair secured a Top 10 spot and grabbed the Caribbean Queen of Beauty award in the 2017 Miss World pageant in Sanya, China last weekend.

Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister had been among her great inspirations.

Singapore was represented by 24-year-old artist Manuela Bruntraeger. The 30-year-old model, who has served twice as a backstage host for Miss Universe, recently expressed her disappointment in not seeing any curvy contestants compete in the global beauty pageant.

Nel-Peters is an advocate of women's rights.

The top 16 was composed of four girls from the continents of America, four from Europe, and four from Asia, Africa, and Pacific, plus four "wild cards".

Other contestants who advanced to the Top 5 are Venezuela and Thailand.

More than 90 women from around the world are set to take the stage in the Miss Universe pageant.

Making their debuts in this year's pageant were Laos' Souphaphone Somvichith, Cambodia's By Sotheary and Nepal's Nagma Shrestha.