Miss Universe 2017 winner is business graduate who trains women in self-defence

A South African woman who helps train women in self-defence was crowned Miss Universe at the pageant held in Las Vegas.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, who unleashed a big smile when she won, hails from Western Cape Province and recently earned a business management degree from North-West University.

Her passion for self-defence was reinforced when she was hijacked and held at gunpoint about a month after winning her title as Miss South Africa, she said in a video on the Miss Universe website.

Miss Colombia, Laura González, 22, was the first runner-up.

She has been preparing to be an actress since the age of 16.

After graduating from a performing arts school, she moved to Bogotá to build her career.

2017 Miss Universe pageant Las Vegas USA 26 Nov 2017

2017 Miss Universe pageant Las Vegas USA 26 Nov 2017

The second runner-up was Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett, 21.

She is a model pursuing a degree in marketing at the University of the West Indies.

The international beauty pageant, which dates back to 1952, was owned by Donald Trump until he sold it in 2015.

It is held in 190 countries worldwide and 92 women competed in this year’s final.

The 2017 Miss Universe Pageant

The 2017 Miss Universe Pageant

Along with the title, Nel-Peters earned a year-long salary, a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign and more prizes.

In this year’s competition, the contestants were asked questions submitted by fans.

Nel-Peters was asked to name the most important issue women face in the workplace.

“In some places, women get paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours, and I do not believe that is right,” she said.

“I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”


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