From Miss Pearl to Miss Universe: a decade of taking titles started right here on the Route

miss u cx front 29.11

VISIONARY: Demi-Leigh featured on the cover of our November 8 edition, with the Knysna-manufactured box that housed her gift of Namaqualand daisy jewellery

SOUTH Africans woke up to news on Monday that Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas on Sunday, beating runner-up Miss Colombia and second princess Miss Jamaica to take the coveted title.
A favourite to win, Demi-Leigh kept her promise to bring the crown back to SA soil after 39 years, Margaret Gardener having been the only other South African to attain this feat back in 1978.
According to Demi-Leigh took to Twitter shortly after her win to thank South Africans for believing in her.
“South Africa, thank you for your support and love throughout my #MissUniverse journey. I may be the new Miss Universe, but I will always be your Miss South Africa - we did it!” she tweeted.
One of the first Plett residents to share news in this regard was Leigh Dunn, who has been working with Knysna-based ACE Models during years of event organising and dabbling in the world of beauty - the last of these events being the recent Mr and Miss Plett/Knysna pageant (turn to page 4 of the November 15 edition for the full story).
“Our beloved Miss SA Demi-Leigh has grown up in Sedgefield and matriculated at Outeniqua Hoërskool in George. As a young girl, she joined ACE Models in Knysna under the management of Charmaine Kruger,” explains Leigh.
He adds that apart from quickly making headway on the catwalk, Demi-Leigh was also crowned as Miss Pearl during the Knysna Oyster Festival as teenager in 2007.
“It has been an honour to work with Charmaine and to share her expertise when organising functions like the Mr and Miss Plett/Knysna beauty pageant. We are extremely proud of Charmaine and ACE Models for laying the foundations that set off Demi-Leigh on her path to claiming the top beauty title on the planet.”
Three significant changes to Demi-Leigh’s life include the following:
• Adé van Heerden will now become Miss South Africa as Demi-Leigh will be performing her Miss Universe duties.
• Demi-Leigh will be whisked away to New York where a luxury apartment awaits, and she will get to live in the glamorous digs for a year.
• She will also receive a salary as Miss Universe for performing her duties over the next year.
Turn to page 5 of the November 8 edition at to read how Knysna craftsman Johan Nel’s creation was one of the good omens leading up to Sunday night’s historic Miss Universe victory.