Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, a final-year student of Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies, has been crowned Miss South Africa 2017.
Nel-Peters, a 21-year-old part-time model and student from the Western Cape, was crowned Miss South Africa 2017 at a star-studded event at the Sun City in Johannesburg, according to Jacaranda News.
The event had live performances from a host of local artists, including DA Les, Gemini Major, Chianosky, DJ Kent, Zion, Nandi Mngoma, and Lira.
Clearly the crowd favorite, Nel-Peters beat other contestants to the 2017 edition of the crown with the carriage, poise, and charisma she exhibited much to the admiration of the audience. In addition to her beauty, Nel-Peters also blew the crowd away with her responses during the question and answer session.
Before the final selection of the winner by the panel of judges, the top 12 contestants cat walked onstage to exhibit designs made by final-year fashion students of the University of Johannesburg.
The public was also allowed to vote process through an SMS platform, which accounted for 25 percent of the overall votes cast.
At the end of the occasion, which was broadcast live on M-Net and Mzanzi Magic, Nel-Peters, who couldn’t hold back her emotion, was crowned by the outgoing queen and Miss South Africa 2016 Ntandoyenkosi Kunene.
In her acceptance speech, Nel-Peters told the crowd, “I vow to dedicate the next 365 days of my life to serve the people of South Africa, to be a voice to those who are afraid to, or cannot speak up and to represent the whole of our beautiful nation. I vow to listen, to be there, to help where I can and to recognize that we all want to be heard; we all want to be validated. I hear you, I see you, I am you!”
The Miss South Africa pageant is one of the most generous pageants in the world. The winner walks away with R1 million in cash from the sponsors. In addition to the prize money, she also goes home with a bouquet of other prizes valued at more than R2 million, including a brand-new Nissan Juke, free medical insurance cover, free make-up and jewelry, hair treatments, dry cleaning and grooming services, luggage, and fragrances.
Nel-Peters is expected to spend much of her one-year reign working for charities promoting women empowerment and providing free bursaries for economically disadvantaged students.