The Miss Universe pageant will be taking place later this month and this year Miss SA runner up Bryoni Govender will be representing South Africa. Here’s a look at three South African winners.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MISS UNIVERSE 2023
Margaret Gardiner was crowned Miss Republic of South Africa in 1978. The beauty queen was crowned Miss Universe by Janelle Commissiong – the first black titleholder of the pageant.
Margaret was born in Cape Town, Western Cape and is now 63 years old. The beauty queen is the author of two books and worked as a journalist in the entertainment industry, according to Briefly.
She graduated with a BA in psychology from the College of Charleston. Margaret is married to Andre Nel, a professor of paediatrics and public health at UCLA. She now lives in Los Angeles and she is also a fashion editor at the Golden Globes.
She was also the ONLY South African titleholder of Miss Universe for 39 years before Demi Leigh Tebow took the title in 2017.
DEMI LEIGH NEL PETERS
Demi-Leigh is a model, philanthropist and businesswoman. She was crowned Miss SA in 2017 and went on to represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant that same year where she became the second South African to be crowned Miss Universe.
She attended a boarding school in George, Western Cape. The model went on to attain a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
Former Miss SA (2019) Zozibini Tunzi made history as Miss Universe for several reasons. Firstly, she was the first black woman with afro-texture hair to win the pageant, according to Allure.
She was also the longest reigning Miss Universe with a reign of a total of 525 days (one year, five months and eight days). This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zozi surpassed Leila Lopes’ reign of 464 days (one year, three months and seven days) from September 2011 to December 2012.
She also became the third woman from South Africa to win the international pageant. The beauty queen was also the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe in eight years after Lopes in 2011.
Zozi holds a degree in Public Relations Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
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