Angola witnessed a historical win last night when their 25-year-old business management student Leila Lopes was crowned Miss Universe 2011 at the 60th anniversary of the international beauty pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her win sealed her fate as becoming the fourth black woman (following Trinidad & Tobago’s Janelle Commissiong in 1977 and Wendy Fitzwilliam in 1998) and the second black African woman (following Mpule Kwelagobe of Bostwana in 1999) to win the coveted title. Her response to her interview question on what physical trait she could change if she can was what made her a winner.
[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”center” variation=”teal”]”Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lopes said. “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”[/pullquote3]
The 5’10” beauty has kept busy juggling school and competitiveness in various beauty pageant competitions. Prior to her win Miss Angola 2011 has provided that there’s more to being Miss Universe than having simple brains and beauty. There are five interesting things that you should know about Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011:
Miss Angola has admitted that she’s commit and passionate about battling AIDS and poverty. She in fact has taken charge in bringing awareness to both causes. There’s no doubt she’ll go on to tackle it on a global platform thanks to her title win. At the Miss Universe competition, Leila has said, “I’ve worked with various social causes. I work with poor kids, I work in the fight against HIV. I work to protect the elderly and I have to do everything that my country needs. I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more. As Miss Angola I’ve already done a lot to help my people.”
Leila impressed judges and the Brazilian community at the Miss Universe competition when she gave her feedback in Portuguese, the official language of her Angola, a former Portugal colony. Brazilian Natalie Bursztyn told the Associated Press how Leila captivated the Brazilian crowd: “She captivated the crowd and we were all behind her. It was great that the judges also saw what the fans saw and gave her the crown. Her dress was beautiful and she knew exactly what to say when they asked her the question about her looks.”
Beauty Pageant Veteran
She competed against 21 finalists in the Miss Angola 2010 competition which cemented her status to represent her country at the 60th anniversary of the international beauty pageant. Also at Miss Angola 2010, Leila was crowned Miss Photogenic!
Knowing the importance of being in a beauty pageant, Leila has maintained a easy beauty regime of getting plenty of rest, drinking water and using sunscreen. She also stressed that her smile is her secret weapon. Leila admitted that she’s never had plastic surgery and that beauty comes from within.
Thanks to her win, Leila is the second African woman following Mpule’s victory in 1999 to be crowned Miss Universe. Leila also is the fourth black woman to win following two Trinidad & Tobago natives. Janelle Commissiong was the first black woman to be named Miss Universe in 1977. Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 1998, celebrated Leila’s historic claim via a Facebook status: “Congratulations to Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011! I am so proud of Leila and her beautiful country of Angola. Thank you all for your unwavering love and support. Leila has done us all proud this evening and I warmly welcome her to the Miss Universe sisterhood. God bless Leila, Angola and all of you! Always, Wendy.”
Congratulations to Leila Lopes and Angola!
image credits – AP