During her time as Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh launched her highly successful Unbreakable campaign to empower thousands of young girls and women throughout the country, by teaching them skills on how to handle difficult situations like hijackings, muggings, robberies and toxic relationships.
She partnered with specialists to give women the necessary knowledge to be able to handle any unwanted situations. She held six workshops around South Africa and has said she would like to promote this campaign internationally.
Demi-Leigh wowed both the judges and the audience in a sheer flesh-toned, long-sleeved hand beaded dress by Anel Botha. It was inspired by the constellations and consisted of 50 000 hand placed Swarovski crystals which took a team of eight people 168 hours to complete.
The Miss Universe pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey and Ashley Graham. Judges for the finale included Wendy Fitzwilliam (Miss Universe 1998 from Trinidad and Tobago); Jay Manuel (TV host, creative director and makeup artist); Ross Mathews (TV personality); Megan Olivi (Fox Sports 1 host and reporter); Lele Pons (Vine and YouTube personality) and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015 from the Philippines).
Before she was crowned Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh had completed her B. Com in business management and entrepreneurship and was a part-time model.
Demi-Leigh’s father and stepmother Bennie and Elzabé Peters and mother and stepfather Anne-Mari and Johan Steenkamp were in the audience and were overcome when Demi-Leigh’s name was announced.
“Demi-Leigh has worked incredibly hard for the past few years to achieve this goal and we are all so proud of her,” said a tearful Elzabé.
It was a sentiment echoed by Sun International PR Manager Claudia Henkel: “We at Sun International are very proud of Demi-Leigh. It has been an exciting few years for us, as the licence holders of Miss South Africa, as we have had two international pageant winners crowned. First with Rolene Strauss winning Miss World and now Demi-Leigh as Miss Universe. She is most certainly going to make South Africa proud.”
The 2017 Miss Universe pageant will be screened on Vuzu (DStv Channel 116) on Tuesday, November 28, at 20h00 and Saturday, December 2, at 15h00