Miss Universe South Africa Bryoni Govender has been named in the top 10 silver finalists of the Miss Universe 2023 Voice for Change.
Bryoni was competing in the 72nd edition of the Miss Universe pageant held at the Gimnasio Nacional José Adolfo Pineda in San Salvador, Central America on Sunday evening, where she made it to the top 20 of the competition.
“I hope that even though I didn’t get a placing, I did South Africa proud. It is an experience I will never forget,” said Bryoni.
Bryoni, a qualified attorney and model, holds a bachelor’s law degree from the University of Johannesburg and had launched a countrywide advocacy campaign ahead of the pageant.
She said she is willing to educate women on their rights to fight off femicide in her home country and the world at large.
Bryoni, who previously served as an ambassador for Lawyers Against Abuse, has since partnered with a social impact team, Norton Rose Fulbrigt, to focus on justice projects.
Women’s rights are human rights
She aims to help women face head on “severe issues that stop their progress in life”, and also plans to educate them that their rights are also human rights.
“The support has been overwhelming and I so appreciate it. I am looking forward to return to South Africa and to continue with my advocacy drive, Her Way Out.
“I would like to congratulate Sheynnis [Palacios who was crowned Miss Universe] and wish her well throughout her reign.
“It was an honour sharing the Miss Universe stage with her, as well as all other competitors who were inspirational and inspiring,” said Bryoni.
Bryoni plans to criss-cross the country visiting courts, legal clinics, rural community halls and schools in an effort to raise awareness about women’s rights, saying a lack of knowledge is stopping women from being in charge of their destinies.
Stephanie Weil, Miss South Africa Organisation CEO, said they are looking forward to the campaign flourishing in South Africa after being recognised and acknowledged at the Miss Universe.
“We are incredibly proud of Bryoni and how she represented both us as an organisation and the country on a world stage. She truly shone,” said Weil.
Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua in Central America was crowned Miss Universe, taking over from R’Bonney Nola Gabriel.
Thailand’s Anntonia Porsild was the runner-up while Moraya Wilson from Australia took the third place.
Sizzling in a 3D-printed dress that took 530 hours to craft by South African designer Gert-Johan Coetzee, Gabriel’s reign came to an end on Sunday after a year since her crowning.
Coetzee described the dress as a symbol of unwavering strength and resilience of women across the globe.
“Women are the guardians of strength, embodying an unwavering resolve that uplifts and protects,” said Coetzee.
“This dress pays tribute to their courage and resilience, celebrating the inherent power within each woman to create an impact and inspire change.”