Miss Universe 2021: Lalela Mswane makes history and qualifies for the first places

Miss Universe 2021: Lalela Mswane makes history and qualifies for the first places

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Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane made the Top 3 at the 70th Miss Universe pageant which was held in Eilat, Israel this morning. Mswane was crowned second runner up with Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu taking the crown and Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira the first runner-up.

At the time of winning the Miss South Africa title in October this year, Mswane had graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Pretoria. She is also a model and a dancer.

The show, which was screened live in South Africa on 1Magic (DStv channel 103), was hosted by comedian Steve Harvey. In her final speech before the winner was announced, Mswane urged young women to “choose courage over comfort,” saying: “I would like young women to know that since the beginning of time they have had everything within them to achieve anything they wanted, it is the world that convinced that we do not.”

Said Mswane after the pageant: “I am overwhelmed to have made it into the Top 3 of the competition. The whole experience has been beyond my wildest expectations. Congratulations to Harnaaz and Nadia and all the other contestants who made this journey so special. I am deeply thankful to all the amazing people who have supported and uplifted me.”

Twenty-four-year-old Mswane – who comes from KwaSokhulu in Richards Bay – represented South Africa against contestants from 80 other countries in the competition. Mswane was one of the front runners throughout the build-up to the finale, wowing the judges in the national costume competition on Friday where she wore a white outfit by the Costume Department with white feathers symbolizing a Dove of Peace.

Lalela nearly did not participate in the Miss Universe pageant. This follows after calls for Miss SA to boycott the Miss Universe ceremony grew. The oppression of Palestinians in Israel for decades compelled many to oppose Lalela representing Mzansi in the “apartheid Israel’

Even the government withdrew its support for her following the backlash. “The South African government withdraws its support and that of South Africa for the Miss South Africa pageant following the latter’s intransigence and disregard of advice against partaking in the Miss Universe pageant scheduled to be held in Israel during the month of December 2021.

There were claims that Lalela had withdrawn from the competition but the Miss SA organization CEO Stephanie Weil said that she was aware there were statements indicating that Mswane had pulled out but that these were completely unfounded and untrue.

“very, very small, but extremely vocal, group” had attempted, and failed, to derail Mswane’s chances at the prestigious international pageant. As the reigning Miss South Africa she will join participants from close to 70 countries in this contest and will represent South Africa to the best of her ability,” she said.