Bryoni Govender's "wildest dreams'' came true at Miss Universe

Bryoni Govender's "wildest dreams'' came true at Miss Universe

She might not be returning home with the crown, but Bryoni walked off the Miss Universe stage with her head held high after an amazing performance. 

Miss Universe South Africa contestant Bryoni Govender
Miss Universe South Africa contestant Bryoni Govender/ Miss South Africa (Willem Botha)

Miss South Africa runner-up Bryoni Govender is reflecting on her Miss Universe journey after an impressive showing at the final ceremony in El Salvador at the weekend.

The qualified lawyer competed alongside contestants from 83 countries. She finished in the Top 20 after wowing the judges and pageant watches with her confidence and grace. 

Nicaragua's Sheynnis Palacios was crowned the winner of the 2023 Miss Universe pageant. It's the central American country's first ever win.

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Bryoni, who was an early favourite in the competition, says the most rewarding part of her journey was all the love and support she received from South Africans. 

"Last night my wildest dream of walking on the @missuniverse stage came true, and we, South Africa, made Top 20. I wore my heart on my sleeve and gave 100% of myself which is why I woke up this morning with a wealth of peace and gratitude to have had this once-in-a-lifetime experience," she wrote on Sunday. 

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Bryoni also congratulated the new Miss Universe on her win and wished her well. 

“It was an honour sharing the Miss Universe stage with her as well as all the competitors who were inspirational and inspiring. I hope that, even though I didn’t get a placing, I did South Africa proud. It is an experience that I will never forget," she said in a statement. 

Miss SA CEO Stephanie Weil says the organisation is "incredibly proud of Bryoni and how she represented both us as an organisation and the country on a world stage".

"She truly shone. She has already been acknowledged by Miss Universe for her incredible campaign and we look forward to continue rolling it out in South Africa on her return.”

South Africa's first-ever Miss Universe winner also showed Bryoni some love. 

"So proud of our Bryoni Congratulations of top 20!" Miss South Africa 1978 Margaret Gardiner wrote on Instagram. 

Main image credit: Miss South Africa (Photographer: Willem Botha) 

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