The 21 year-old business management student Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned Miss South Africa 2017 at a ceremony at Sun City on 26 March 2017.
The new Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who hails from Cape Town, takes over from last year’s winner Ntandoyenkosi Kunene. The country’s most prestigious beauty pageant title’s prizes is valued at over R3-million, including a R1-million cash prize, making it one of the world’s richest pageant contests.
Adè van Heerden and Boipelo Mabe were crowned first and second princesses respectively.
For the first time in the history of the pageant, the public voted via SMS for their favourite semi-finalists. It contributed 25% of the overall final vote.
The pageant’s judging panel consisted of some of the country’s best known names and trendsetters, including actor and businessman Maps Maponyane, radio personality Unathi Msengana, Olympic swimmer Cameron van der Burgh and former Miss South Africa winner Claudia Henkel.
Judges agreed that Nel-Peters come out on top largely due to her response to the question session. The same question, chosen from hundreds of submissions from the public via Facebook, was asked to the Top 5: “What is the greatest fear you had to overcome to be where you are today?”
Nel-Peters answered: “The fear of fear itself. We forget that we are only human and that everything you need to achieve greatness is already inside of you.”
Semi-finalists for the pageant were chosen over the last few months through a series of interviews, photo sessions and tasks relevant to the work of the nation’s queen.
Other highlights of the live pageant included a display of the contestants’ fashion collaboration with University of Johannesburg design students, and live performances by music stars Lira and Lebo M (who performed the song Circle of Life before the announcement of the overall winner).
South African hip hop star Proverb hosted the event alongside media personality Lalla Hirayama.
In accordance with the pageant’s platform, the holder of the Miss South Africa title represents the ideals and attributes of the modern South African woman – focused and committed to the empowerment of women and protection of children, and to be a responsible representative of all South Africans.
During her reign, Miss South Africa will go on to represent South Africa at both Miss World and Miss Universe pageants. In addition to those highlights, Nel-Peters will also be involved in promotional and charity work, largely drawing attention to a number of local non-governmental organisations that work with the underprivileged, including women and children.
The newly crowned Miss South Africa will also make appearances both locally and internationally, representing the country at various high profile events.
Watch an interview with Miss South Africa 2017 right after her crowning:
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