Twenty-four-year-old, Lalela Mswane, a 5’ 9” slinky model, copped the second runner-up spot at the Miss Universe 2021, on Dec.12, at Eilat, Israel, after scoring high marks.
The lovely young lady, impressed the judges with her impressive answer after being asked, “what advice would you give to young women on how to deal with the pressures of today.”
The law school graduate, model and dancer, stood poised, and with a smile on her face, replied, “I would implore young woman today to choose courage over conflict, every opportunity they get, and I also want women to know, that since the beginning of time they have had everything within them to achieve anything they wanted, unfortunately, it’s the world that convinced us we do not,” she concluded to loud applause.
Wearing a gold floor-length gown, designed with cut-outs effect, throughout the creation, Mswane, a ballerina, showed confidence, and walked with an air of royalty as she sashed across the runway, and into the hearts of the panel of judges, that included Lori Harvey, skin-care mogul, and daughter of Harvey, host of the hugely popular, Family Feud game show.
Mswane, after an outstanding dance performance, wowing the world in her white feathered “Dove of Peace” national costume, during that category of the pageant.
The beauty, who arrived with controversy in tow, due to her country’s boycott of the pageant because it was held in Israel, flittered across the runway, moving her arms in the air like a butterfly, ultimately becoming famous as the second runner-up, next to Miss India Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, the winner, and Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira, first runner-up.
South Africa had opposed Israel’s occupation of Palestine and said it cannot in good conscience associate itself with the show.
Born in Richards Bay, a province of SA, Lalela Mswane, won the title with great support from the audience of thousands, that gathered for the 70th offering of the pageant, where 80 countries participated, and viewed live on FOX TV in 173 countries, and a viewership of 600 million.