Miss South Africa 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, is now Miss Universe 2017. Out of 92 finalist, (the largest group ever to compete for the title) 22 year old Nel-Peters took home top honors over first runner-up Miss Colombia; Laura González and second runner-up Miss Jamaica; Davina Bennett.
Demi-Leigh hails from Western Cape Province and is a recent graduate of Business Management from South Africa’s North-West University. She is the second South African to win the title of Miss Universe, that is since the pageant’s inception in 1956.
During the show, she opened up about her story of being hijacked and held at gunpoint shortly after she was crowned Miss South Africa. This harrowing experience made her passionate about training women in self-defense and prompted her to run a campaign called Unbreakable.
She explains: “The Unbreakable campaign aims to educate, uplift and empower South African women. This they can start to do by taking care of themselves and making wise decisions.”
The campaign kicked off with workshops rolling out at a number of venues such as as community centres with Mark Grobbelaar, a 6th Dan karate expert, who gave up his corporate job to create an organisation called Woman INPowered (WIP) which aims to empower women when faced with life-threatening situations. She has also collaborated with MasterDrive, an advanced driver training company – JoziStyle
During the competition’s Q&A , the newly crowned Miss Universe was asked to name the most important issue women face in the workplace, and I must say she did Africa proud with her response “In some places, women get 75% of what men earn for doing the same job and working the same hours, and I do not believe that this is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world. If women take hands and stand together, we are unbreakable, and we can say no to the things that are wrong in the workplace, at home or wherever you might go.”
Gleeful Nel-Peters accepted her crown from Iris Mittenaere (former Miss Universe 2016). We are proud of her representing South Africa and Africa as a whole in such a graceful manner. From the Lysa Team, congratulations to the new Miss Universe! May she continue using her crown to empower more women.
I also hope we can officially give Steve Harvey a rest now. He did manage to get his act together and actually announce the correct winner!