It’s almost time, and the public are 100% behind our Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters who this week revealed two of the outfits she will be wearing when the 66th Miss Universe pageant takes place at The Axis in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 26.

She also showed off her official national gift, a stunning piece of jewellery made from gold and diamonds, called “The Daisies of Africa”.

Twenty-two-year-old Nel-Peters, a B.Comm graduate, believes she is fully prepared for Miss Universe: “My preparations started when I was crowned Miss South Africa 2017. Just as with the Miss South Africa platform, I understand the responsibility of being Miss Universe and the impact it has on millions of lives.”

Nel-Peters’ national costume, which she showed off at her farewell, has been designed by Malikah Hajee and Lloyd Kandlin and their team at The Costume Department while Anel Botha has designed a number of outfits including the finale gown.

Say Hajee and Kandlin: “We were approached by the Miss South Africa Organisation’s pageant coach and stylist Werner Wessels to create the Miss South Africa national costume. Wessels had a vision of what he thought would be most effective. We then took his idea a step further and created our version of the South African national flower, the protea, which is also the official Miss South Africa emblem. We looked at the elements of the flower and colours and recreated it in a costume form.”

Botha, who is responsible for the Miss Universe finale gown, says she was inspired by what the Miss Universe Pageant is synonymous with – sophistication and glamour in a celebration of young women who are confidently beautiful.

She says: “Demi-Lee’s Miss Universe gown reflects her beauty in a million ways and it also shows off her strength and her beautiful physique. It is a gown that will be remembered!”

At her farewell, Demi-Leigh also showed off another of Anel’s outfits that she will be wearing during the course of the build-up in the US to the Miss Universe finale.

Nel-Peters will be taking a piece of South African jewellery, designed by Miss South Africa sponsors, Jack Friedman Jewellers with input from her, as the national gift to Miss Universe. It is inspired by Namaqualand daisies and the map of Africa and is made with diamonds and gold and includes the artistic technique of vitreous enamelling. A quote by the late Nelson Mandela is engraved on the underside of the piece.

Says Howard Fevrier, CEO of Jack Friedman Jewellers and the founder’s grandson: “We decided that the perfect national gift would showcase not only our precious natural resources, but the talented jewellery designers and craftmanship we have in South Africa. The piece of jewellery will be auctioned for charity to a discerning International audience and therefore needed to be a unique design, and of the highest standard in terms of skill and the complexity required to create it.”

“The Daisies of Africa” will be presented in a wooden box made from one the oak trees that was damaged during the devastating fires in Knysna, near Demi’s hometown of Sedgefield, in June this year.

Sun International and Cell C wished Nel-Peters the best of luck for the pageant: “We know that Demi is well prepared and will do South Africa proud. She has accumulated an impressive list of achievements since she was crowned Miss South Africa including her Unbreakable campaign; raising R650 000 for Knysna fire relief; being the ambassador for Cell C’s Take a Gild Child to Work® campaign and raising awareness for breast cancer. She has also launched her Demi Jeans with Soviet Jeans and participated in the sought-after World Swimsuit Issue photoshoot.”

The 2018 Miss South Africa pageant will be staged next year by licence holders Sun International, in collaboration with Cell C – stay tuned for more details.

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