Reigning Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, will compete in November in the Miss Universe Pageant.
She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Miss South Africa title holders who have triumphed on the international stage – Penny Coelen crowned the country’s first Miss World in 1958; Anneline Kriel who took over the title of Miss World In 1974; Rolene Strauss, Miss World in 2014 and Miss RSA Margaret Gardiner named Miss Universe in 1978.
The 66th Miss Universe pageant is scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 26 (venue still to be confirmed), with Nel-Peters – a 22-year-old B. Comm graduate from Sedgefield in the Western Cape – leaving for the competition earlier in that month.
Nel-Peters believes that she is fully prepared for Miss Universe: “My preparations started when I was crowned Miss South Africa 2017. Just as with the Miss South Africa platform, I understand the responsibility of being Miss Universe and the impact it has on millions of lives.
“I am extremely excited and proud to represent our Rainbow Nation and cannot wait to wear the name ‘South Africa’ proudly across my chest. It has been 39 years since a South African wore the Miss Universe crown and I promise to dedicate and commit myself to ensure the crown will once again be on South African soil.”
Nel-Peters will be assisted with preparations by two experts ahead of the competition, pageant coach and fashion stylist, Werner Wessels and Miss South Africa stylist Noreen Kajee-Vareta.
“I do a training programme similar to countries such as the Philippines, Venezuela, and the US. I've been very fortunate to assist and coach Rolene Strauss in 2014, as well as Miss America for the Miss World pageant in 2015. I apply my model of training as they do in those countries and if you are serious about winning an international title, you don't enter a pageant without a pageant coach,” Wessels said.
Adds Kajee-Vareta: “We started preparation for Miss Universe as soon as Demi-Leigh was crowned Miss South Africa and look forward to revealing her outfits for the pageant closer to the time. She’s fully prepared and ready to bring the crown home to South Africa!”