Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

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Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
Demi Leigh-Nel Peters in 2018 (2) (cropped).jpg
Nel-Peters in 2018
Born (1995-06-28) 28 June 1995 (age 23)
ResidenceNew York City, U.S.
EducationNorth-West University
  • Model
  • beauty pageant titleholder
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[1]
TitleMiss South Africa 2017
Miss Universe 2017
Beauty pageant titleholder
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorHazel
Miss South Africa 2017
Miss Universe 2017

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (born 28 June 1995) is a South African model and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe 2017. She was crowned Miss South Africa 2017, and is the second Miss Universe winner from South Africa, following Margaret Gardiner who was crowned Miss Universe 1978.

Early life and education[edit]

Nel-Peters was born on 28 June 1995 in Sedgefield, Western Cape, to Bennie Peters and Anne-Marie Steenkamp.[2][3] Her half-sister, Franje, has a physical disability, and Nel-Peters says that she is the most significant motivator in her life.[4][5] While pursuing a bachelor's degree in business management and entrepreneurship from North-West University, Nel-Peters modeled part-time for Boss Models and Vision Management Cape Town.[6] She graduated from North-West University in March 2017, few days before winning Miss South Africa 2017 competition.[7] She is fluent in both English and Afrikaans.[8][9]


Miss South Africa 2017[edit]

Nel-Peters began her pageantry career representing Western Cape in the Miss South Africa 2017 competition on March 26, 2017, which she won.[citation needed] As Miss South Africa, she had the right to represent South Africa in both Miss World 2017 and Miss Universe 2017, but since the dates of the two pageants coincided, she was sent only to Miss Universe, held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Miss Universe 2017[edit]

In the final round Steve Harvey asked Nel-Peters, "What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?" She said:

As Miss Universe you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. And Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women to overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for and I think that is exactly who I am.[10]

When asked about what she thought was the most important issue regarding women in the workplace, she said:

In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours — and I do not believe that this is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.[11]

She went on to win the competition and was crowned Miss Universe 2017 by outgoing titleholder Iris Mittenaere.[12][13][14] Nel-Peters is the second titleholder from South Africa; Margaret Gardiner won Miss Universe 1978.[15][16][17]

Nel-Peters said during a segment at Miss Universe that she wants to use her self-defence workshops to help as many women as she can.[5][18] This stems from an incident a month after she was crowned Miss South Africa, when she was carjacked at Hyde Park. She handed over her car keys but was forced into her car by the carjackers.[19][20] She punched one of them in the throat and managed to run away and get help.[19][21][22]

In her capacity as Miss Universe, Nel-Peters visited the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, France, Mexico, Ecuador, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Malaysia, various cities in the United States, and her home country, South Africa.

Nel-Peters ended her reign on December 17, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, the host nation of the 2018 Miss Universe pageant. She eventually crowned Catriona Gray of the Philippines as her successor.

Personal life[edit]

During her reign as Miss Universe 2017, Nel-Peters began dating Tim Tebow, a former professional American football quarterback and current professional baseball outfielder for New York Mets minor league affiliates. She celebrated her first American Thanksgiving with his family at their home.[23] During her farewell at Miss Universe 2018, Nel-Peters thanked Tebow for his support.[24] Nel-Peters and Tebow became engaged on 9 January 2019 at Tebow's family farm in Jacksonville, Florida.[25]


  1. ^ "Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters". Boss Models. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Happy birthday to this genuine hearted roomie and sister of mine - and your Miss Universe!". Sarah Rose Summers. 28 June 2018.
  3. ^ JK, Morne (27 March 2017). "Who is Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters". Jacaranda FM.
  4. ^ "15 Things You Should Know About Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters". SA People News. 27 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b Ghosh, Sutrishna (2017-11-27). "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters beats Colombia and Jamaica to win Miss Universe 2017". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  6. ^ "Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters - Pageant Planet". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  7. ^ "New Miss Universe Teaches Self-Defense After Getting Held at Gunpoint: 5 Things to Know". Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  8. ^ "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wins Miss Universe". CBS News. 2017-11-26. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  9. ^ Denninger, Lindsay (26 November 2017). "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Wins Miss Universe 2017". Bustle.
  10. ^ "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Crowned Miss Universe 2017". E! Online. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  11. ^ Moniuszko, Sara M. (November 26, 2017). "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is crowned Miss Universe 2017". USA Today. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  12. ^ "South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wins Miss Universe 2017". ABS-CBN News. 26 November 2017.
  13. ^ Domirez, Darren (26 November 2017). "Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wins first Miss Universe 2017 crown for Miss South Africa in 39 years". Inquisitr.
  14. ^ "Miss Universe 2017". Amar Ujala. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  15. ^ Feldman, Kate (26 November 2017). "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters named Miss Universe 2017". New York Daily News.
  16. ^ "Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Miss Universe 2017-2018 Winner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. 26 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Miss Universe 2017: Crowning moments of Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in PHOTOS". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  18. ^ Silva, Cristina (2017-11-26). "Who is Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters? South African woman is Miss Universe 2017 winner". Newsweek. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  19. ^ a b "Miss Universe 2017 Pageant: Who Won?". 26 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Miss South Africa Wins Miss Universe 2017". 27 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Miss SA Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in hijacking drama - IOL News". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  22. ^ "I punched one of my attackers in the throat, says Miss SA on hijacking ordeal". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters - Pageant Planet". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  24. ^ "Miss Universe 2018 - Pageant Planet". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  25. ^ Steve Helling; Lindsay Kimble (10 January 2019). "Tim Tebow Is Engaged to Former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters". People. Retrieved 10 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
France Iris Mittenaere
Miss Universe
Succeeded by
Philippines Catriona Gray
Preceded by
Mpumalanga Ntandoyenkosi Kunene
Miss South Africa
Succeeded by
Western Cape Adè van Heerden