Why Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Peters-Nel is more than just a beauty queen
Newly-crowned Miss Universe and former Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Peters-Nel is a beauty queen that's not afraid to fight for what she wants. And what she wants is for all women to have the power to do the same.
The 22-year-old is the second Miss South Africa to win the Miss Universe title since the pageant started in 1952. She holds a Business Management and Entrepreneurship degree from North-West University, and has been taking leadership roles since her days in school. She was reportedly even appointed as Deputy Junior Mayor of the George City Council.
In a video posted on the Miss Universe YouTube account before the pageant, Demi-Leigh talks about a self-defense programme she started as Miss South Africa called Unbreakable, and explains what she wants to accomplish as a role model and teacher for women all around the world, as well as the personal event that inspired her.
She mentions that she experienced a hijacking in Hyde Park shortly after being crowned Miss Africa. Reports say that she left the incident unharmed but was held at gunpoint and robbed of her phone and other personal belongings. She goes on to say how she uses her experience to help women in the fight for gender equality, and she describes how she seeks to promote authenticity in her own life as well as in the lives of others.
As Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh was involved in several different humanitarian projects, working with kids and young women alongside her Unbreakable campaign. She says that she takes inspiration from her 10-year-old half sister named Franje, who was disabled at birth with cerebellar agenesis, meaning she was born without a cerebellum.