The countdown for Miss Universe 2023 is over as the pageant is already underway.
The build-up to the finale is currently taking place in San Salvador, El Salvador. On Sunday, November 19, fashion designer R’Bonney Nola will be crowning her successor at the José Adolfo Pineda Arena.
This year’s pageant will be hosted by presenter Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo, for the second consecutive year, along with US TV presenter Maria Menounos.
American singer and songwriter John Legend is set to keep viewers entertained with his sweet melodies through a live performance.
Out of over 85 contestants who will be vying for the crown, South Africa’s very own Bryoni Govender is one of them.
As the Miss South Africa 2023 first runner-up, Govender will be representing South Africa at this prestigious event since the reigning Miss SA, Natasha Joubert, cannot as she has participated in the Miss Universe pageant before.
Govender is the second South African of Indian descent to participate at Miss Universe and if she wins this title, she will be the first of her kind.
“I cannot describe how excited I am to start this Miss Universe journey, and as this new chapter unfolds, I am fully committed to my support of women's equality in South Africa.
“My advocacy is to address and remove the gaps in the progress of women's empowerment by introducing mentorship programmes focusing on business and leadership courses, entrepreneurial and job training programmes and skills development training programmes on secondary to post-tertiary levels of education for girls and women,” said the University of Johannesburg law graduate.
South Africans are rallying behind her and crossing their fingers that she wins.
“We are so very proud of you, good luck for the competition,” said @sonjarheedermalherbe.
What’s also interesting about this year’s pageant is that for the first time transgender women will be participating.
Marina Machete, Miss Portugal 2023, and Rikkie Valerie Kolle, Miss Nederland 2023, are the first two transgender women who will be participating in Miss Universe.
South Africans can watch all the live action on SABC 3 at 3pm on Sunday, November 19. The show will also repeat the same day at 7:30pm.