South Africa’s Bryoni Govender Shines As A Front-Runner For Miss Universe 2023

As the 72nd Miss Universe pageant unfolds in the vibrant city of San Salvador, El Salvador, South Africa’s representative, Bryoni Govender, is making waves as one of the front-runners in the competition.


  • The highly anticipated finale is scheduled for Saturday, 18 November 2023.
  • South African viewers can catch all the glamour and excitement as it unfolds live on SABC 3 (DStv Channel 193) from 3am on Sunday, 19 November 2023, with a repeat broadcast at 19:30pm the same day.
  • Adding musical flair to the event is the renowned John Legend.
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Fans can actively participate in supporting Bryoni Govender by casting their votes through the official Miss Universe app, with the contestant receiving the most votes earning an automatic placement in the semi-finals. The combination of online voting and the enthusiastic support from the home country has proven to be a winning formula in previous pageants.


This year’s Miss Universe pageant is hosted by the dynamic duo of Jeannie Mai and Olivia Culpo, alongside Maria Menounos, Catriona Gray, and Zuri Hall. The competition features contestants from 85 countries, each vying for the prestigious title currently held by R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States.


South Africans are particularly excited about Bryoni Govender, hoping she will become the fourth titleholder from their country. Bryoni, currently busy with rehearsals, is set to showcase her grace, intelligence, and beauty in the final competition, which includes personality interviews on 14 November 2023 and the National Costume Show on 16 November 2023.


Bryoni’s national gown, designed by the acclaimed Casey Jeanne, pays homage to her Indian South African heritage.


The African-Indian fusion ensemble is inspired by a sari and adorned with traditional Zulu beads in an Ndebele print pattern. It is a celebration of diversity, reflecting the rich tapestry of South African culture. Image: Yolanda van der Stoep

Speaking from El Salvador, Bryoni expresses her delight at the global connections she’s making with fellow contestants.
Meeting wonderful women from all over the world and connecting with them at so many levels has been a true delight. It’s all going too quickly. I want more time to enjoy every precious moment.

// Miss Universe South Africa, Bryoni Govender


CEO of the Miss South Africa Organization, Stephanie Weil, commends Govender’s dedication and leadership qualities.

We know that she has what it takes to win the title as she exudes leadership, focus, and passion. She has worked incredibly hard as Miss Universe South Africa and is an inspiration for a generation of young girls who wish to reach for a dream.

// CEO of the Miss South Africa Organization, Stephanie Weil


The Miss Universe pageant has introduced several noteworthy changes this year. For the first time, married women and women with children are eligible to compete. Additionally, Rikkie Kollé of the Netherlands and Marina Machete of Portugal are the second and third transgender entrants in the competition’s history. The diversity and inclusivity showcased in this edition reflect the evolving landscape of beauty pageants.


Notable debuts and returns include Pakistan, Denmark, Egypt, Guyana, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Norway, and Zimbabwe. It’s worth mentioning that Miss Zimbabwe Universe contestant, Brooke Bruk-Jackson, shares a connection with Bryoni as her roommate.


South Africa’s strong presence in the Miss Universe pageant is evident from its impressive track record. The country boasts titles such as Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017 and Zozibini Tunzi in 2019. Tamaryn Green and Lalela Mswane secured first runner-up and second runner-up positions in 2018 and 2021, respectively. With such a stellar history, South Africans are eager to rally behind Briyoni.


As South Africa anticipates another thrilling chapter in its pageant legacy, the Miss Universe pageant promises a dazzling display of beauty, talent, and cultural diversity.


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