Kunene con­fi­dent of her chances as Miss Uni­verse

Miss SA says she will do us proud at pageant

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KARISHMA DIPA

MISS South Africa, Ntan­doyenkosi Kunene is plan­ning to do the coun­try proud when she com­petes in the Miss Uni­verse pageant later this month.

The beauty queen jets off to­day to the Philip­pines, with the com­pe­ti­tion be­ing held at the Mall of Asia Com­plex in Manila on Jan­uary 30.

The 23-year-old will com­pete against con­tes­tants from 85 other coun­tries who will all vie for the pres­ti­gious ti­tle.

Although Kunene failed to bring home the Miss World crown when she com­peted in the pageant last month in the US, she is con­fi­dent about her chances this time around.

“I learnt a great deal from my par­tic­i­pa­tion in Miss World and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the Miss Uni­verse pageant and to meet­ing the other con­tes­tants,” she said.

Lo­cal lux­ury fash­ion brand Qui­te­ria & Ge­orge will de­sign Kunene’s dress.

The cur­rent Miss Uni­verse ti­tle­holder, Pia Wurtzbach from the Philip­pines, will of­fi­cially hand over the crown to her suc­ces­sor on the night.

Her ap­point­ment in De­cem­ber 2015 was met with con­tro­versy when the host, co­me­dian Steve Har­vey, ac­ci­den­tally an­nounced on live tele­vi­sion an­other con­tes­tant as the win­ner. Once he re­alised the mis­take, he quickly rec­ti­fied it, but video footage of the faux pas went vi­ral.

De­spite the mix-up, Har­vey will this year again host the event, which will be broad­cast live on the Fox Tele­vi­sion Net­work.

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.

This year’s Miss South Africa pageant will take place in March.

WORLD CLASS: Miss South Africa, Ntan­doyenkosi Kunene

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