Margaret Gardiner crowned SA's first Miss Universe 41 years ago today - A look back at that historic moment

Margaret Gardiner (Photo: Getty)
Margaret Gardiner (Photo: Getty)

Cape Town - At 18 years old, Margaret Gardiner was the first South African to be crowned Miss Universe in 1978.

During the event held in Acapulco, Mexico she received her crown from Janelle Commissiong, the first black titleholder of the pageant. 

She was the only Miss Universe titleholder from South Africa until Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe 2017.

In a previous interview with Channel24, the former beauty queen said that she still has her Miss Universe sash, and keeps it safely tucked away and not on display.

Originally from Cape Town, the 59-year-old now calls Los Angeles her home and works as a TV and print journalist in the City of Angels.

She is also a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that votes on and hosts the prestigious Golden Globes. 

Having lived abroad for many years, Margaret said what she misses most about is South Africa is, "only everything."

"So often the most beautiful places I visit remind me of parts of South Africa," she says. 

"Who wouldn't miss biltong, droëwors, and Cadbury Crunchies? Boerekos, curries, oysters, crayfish and prawns. Like only South Africans can make it. The list is never-ending," she said.

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