Reigning Miss South Africa, Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, will be competing in the Miss Universe pageant, which takes place in Manila in the Philippines, on Monday, January 30.
Kunene – who took part in Miss World in the US last month, and who leaves South Africa on Wednesday, January 11 – will be representing South Africa against 85 other countries in the competition.
The Miss Universe Pageant will be broadcast live on the FOX Television Network from the Mall of Asia Complex in Manila when Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines will crown her successor at the end of the event. It will be hosted by comedian Steve Harvey who made headlines around the world at the last Miss Universe competition when he announced the wrong candidate as the winner.
The pageant, which started as a marketing competition by California company Catalina Swimwear in 1952, has evolved over the past 64 years into an annual tradition celebrating intelligence, poise and beauty. Miss South Africa Margaret Gardiner took the title in 1978. Other African winners include Miss Namibia, Michelle McLean in 1992; Miss Botswana, Mpule Kwelagobe in 1999 and Miss Angola, Leila Lopes in 2011.
Says Kunene: “I learned a great deal from my participation in Miss World and I am really looking forward to the Miss Universe pageant and to meeting the other contestants from all over the world.”
She will be dressed at the pageant by designers Quiteria & George.
The 2017 Miss South Africa Pageant will be staged in March by licence holders Sun International, in association with Cell C.