Lalela Mswane 'overwhelmed to have made it into the top 3' at Miss Universe

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Lalela Mswane
Lalela Mswane
Photo: Supplied by Miss South Africa

Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane left many feeling inspired when she delivered her final speech at the Miss Universe competition on Sunday, where she was crowned second runner-up. 

"I would implore young women today to choose courage over comfort every opportunity they get," Lalela said when asked by host Steve Harvey what advice she would give to women on dealing with "the pressures they face today".

"I'd also like young women to know that, since the beginning of time, they've had everything within them to achieve anything they've wanted - it was, unfortunately, the world that convinced us that we did not," the 24-year-old continued.

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Speaking after the pageant, in a statement shared by the Miss SA Organisation, Lalela said: "I am overwhelmed to have made it into the Top 3 of the competition. The whole experience has been beyond my wildest expectations. Congratulations to Harnaaz and Nadia and all the other contestants who made this journey so special. I am deeply thankful to all the amazing people who have supported and uplifted me."

Lalela's participation in the Miss Universe pageant had been marred by controversy since it was announced the competition would be hosted by Israel, with South Africa's Department of Sports, Arts and Culture subsequently withdrawing its support for the Miss South Africa Organisation.

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