Miss Universe 2017
Proving that no dream is too big when you believe in yourself, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe after a 39-year wait for that title to return home to South Africa. A proud South African woman, she dedicated her win to South Africa and brought a nation to tears with her when outgoing Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere passed on the Mikimoto crown to Demi-Leigh.
From Africa’s first official Slow Town, Sedgefield in the Western Cape, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is a small-town girl with big dreams and even bigger ambitions. The 22-year-old B.Com Business Management and Entrepreneurship graduate has already made history, being the first to hold two positions of leadership while she was still in high school. It didn’t stop there, Demi-Leigh was also elected deputy junior mayor of the George City Council when she was in Grade 11.
Demi-Leigh’s biggest motivation is her half-sister who is disabled after being born without a cerebellum. And when Demi-Leigh isn’t motivating countless women with her #MissSAUnbreakable campaign, she is a part-time model for Boss Models and Vision Management.
The Road To
Miss Universe 2017
Crowned at the glittering event in Las Vegas on the 26th of November, Demi-Leigh beat over 90 contestants to take the coveted title that she worked tirelessly for. Demi is the first Miss South Africa to be born after South Africa became a democracy in 1994.
After an eventful first half of her Miss South Africa reign, Demi-Leigh has made history as the second South African to be crowned Miss Universe since Margaret Gardiner in 1978. An early fan favourite, Demi stole the hearts of the judges after the preliminary rounds which led up to the official crowning ceremony.
Demi-Leigh often said that her work toward the Miss Universe crown started the moment the Enhle crown was passed on to her. Her hope was to make South Africa proud and she has made good on her word.
as Miss SA 2017
Growing up, watching the Miss South Africa pageant was a tradition that Demi-Leigh shared with her mother. It also inspired her to enter other pageants, making the Top 5 for Miss Teen SA in 2010 and winning Miss Varsity Cup in 2015.
Demi-Leigh believes that a Miss South Africa should be gentle, caring and kind, and lead by example. Being a person who is always willing to give of herself, Demi-Leigh has used her year to make a positive impact. After a hijacking attempt, Demi-Leigh set her sights on developing a self-defence campaign to give women the tools they need to defend themselves.
We are #UnBreakable
The #MissSAUnbreakable campaigns have taken place at community centres in Diepsloot, Soweto, Mamelodi and Observatory. Demi-Leigh also collaborated with 6th Dan karate expert, Mark Grobbelaar, who gave up a corporate career to create, and dedicate his life to, an organisation called Woman INPowered (WIP), which aims to empower women in life-threatening situations and give them the knowledge and tools to stay safe.
Demi-Leigh also worked with advanced driver training company, MasterDrive. Together with WIP, they were instrumental in Demi-Leigh surviving the hijacking attempt.