South Africa’s Lalela Mswane is Miss Universe 2021 second runner-up, loses to Harnaaz Sandhu, Nadia Ferreira


Lalela Mswane, 24, of Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa almost won Miss Universe 2021. She is the second runner-up of the 70th edition of the international beauty pageant based in New York, United States.

Mswane was born in Richards Bay to the late Muntu Mswane and Hleliselwe Mswane. Born in Eswatini, Muntu served as a diplomat and a minister in South Africa.

Lalela earned her law degree from the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa. On October 16, 2021, she won Miss South Africa 2021.

Lalela Lali Mswane (©Miss South Africa)
Lalela Lali Mswane (©Miss South Africa)

Hosted by Steve Harvey, 64, the Miss Universe 2021 coronation night was held at the Universe Dome in Eilat, Israel. Carson Kressley, 52, and Cheslie Kryst, 30, served as commentators during the event, which featured performances by Joanna Noëlle “JoJo” Levesque, 30, and Noa Kirel, 20.

It was the first time Miss Universe was held in Israel. Including Mswane, a total of 80 women competed for the crown.


It was Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, of India who won the Miss Universe 2021 crown. The judges were Rena Sofer, 53, of the U.S., Adamari Torres, 50, of Puerto Rico, Adriana Lima, 40, of Brazil, Marian Rivera, 37, of the Philippines, Iris Mittenaere, 28, of France, Urvashi Rautela, 27, of India and Lori Harvey, 24, of the U.S.

Runner-up to Sandhu was Nadia Ferreira, 22, of Paraguay. Valeria Ayos, 27, of Colombia and Beatrice Luigi Gomez, 26, of the Philippines finished in the Top 5.

Sandhu was crowned by Andrea Meza, 26, of Mexico. The latter reigned as Miss Universe 2020 from May 16, 2021 to December 12, 2021, making it the shortest completed Miss Universe reign.

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