• Tue, Sep 13 2011

5 Facts About the 2011 Miss Universe, Miss Angola Leila Lopes

Last night in São Paulo, Brazil, Andy Cohen presided over the Miss Universe pageant, where a judging panel whose members ranged from actress Vivica A. Fox to journalist Connie Chung declared Leila Lopes (Miss Angola) the winner. Leila (full name Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes) beat out 88 other contestants for the crown. Here’s your rundown on the 25-year-old business student-turned-pageant queen.

1. She’s half Brazilian and bilingual.

Turns out São Paulo was the perfect setting for Leila’s victory. Because Angola is a former Portuguese colony, many citizens are well-versed in the language. She whipped out her Portuguese more than once during the pageant, which really impressed the judges.

2. She’s the first Angolan woman to win the title.

The statistics don’t stop there: She’s the fourth African woman to win, the second black African woman, and the fourth black woman in the world to win Miss Universe.

3. She’s an ex-pat.

Though born in Angola, Leila currently lives and studies in England. She was crowned Miss Angola UK in 2008, but almost didn’t get to keep the title because at the time she wasn’t a UK resident.

4. She’s happy with herself.

The final question was which physical traits the contestants would change about themselves, but Leila said she’d rather stay the way she is:

“Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing. I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”

5. She doesn’t discriminate in who she wants to help.

Leila told the judges that she would continue raising awareness about HIV, as well as providing for underprivileged children and the elderly. Lucky that she won!

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