Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, is a model who was crowned Miss Universe in 2017, the second winner ever from South Africa. In addition to her professional and personal goals, Demi-Leigh has proven that she can achieve immense success. When she ended her reign in December 2018, she shared a moving farewell that was slightly controversial when she handed over the crown.
For a bit of background, Demi-Leigh won the pageant in 2017, with her answer in the final round contributing to the victory. She was asked: “What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?”
Demi-Leigh answered: “As Miss Universe you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. And Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women to overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for and I think that is exactly who I am.”
She was also asked what she believed was the most important issue for women in the workplace and noted the gender pay gap. Demi-Leigh shared: “In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours — and I do not believe that this is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”
Demi-Leigh’s beauty and brains weren’t the only things that won over her fans – her strong faith was also endearing and definitely is something she shares with her boyfriend, football star Tim Tebow.
They met at the Night to Shine event hosted by the Tim Tebow Foundation, as Tim noted: “Demi-Leigh’s sister has special needs, and was invited to a Night to Shine in South Africa. We kind of met and started talking through that and haven’t stopped!”
Tim explained to ESPN recently: “She is a really special girl and I am very lucky and blessed for her coming into my life.” He added: “I am usually very private with these things but I am very thankful.”
When Demi-Leigh took her final walk as Miss Universe and a new winner was crowned, she noted: “First, all glory goes to my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.”
While many found her mention of Jesus Christ controversial, many celebrated her statement, with comments on social media such as: “It’s refreshing to see someone who is not afraid to express her feelings about her faith!” and “God Bless this young lady for her strong testimony to the world.”
Another commenter noted: “The atheists are not going to be happy about this! Congratulations Demi-Leigh for thanking God in the midst of millions of people!”
She told Page Six that she would miss many things about the Miss Universe pageant, noting: “I think one of the things I’ll miss most is the people I got to work with, the organization, they’ve been so supportive and so helpful throughout the whole year.”
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