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“As Miss Universe, I want to show the world that there is more to Africa than poverty, hunger and disease. I want people to know that Africa has a lot to offer and that my country Angola is not only beautiful, but it is a country that is developing socially, economically and culturally.” Leila Lopes.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]When Angolan beauty queen, model and actress, Leila Lopes won the 2011 Miss Universe® beauty pageant, she became the first woman from her country to win the title, the fourth African winner from the continent and the seventh winner of African descent.

Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes was born on February 26, 1986 in Benguela, Angola during the civil war that ravaged the country for twenty-seven years, from 1975 to 2002. The first girl of seven children, her parents were immigrants from Cape Verde, a West African island nation in the Atlantic Ocean.

Leila Lopes lived in the UK while studying business management at Suffolk University, Ipswich in England. She was still in school when she participated in the Miss Angola UK® beauty pageant and was crowned the winner on October 8, 2010. Her victory in the UK pageant made her eligible to take part in the Miss Angola national beauty pageant.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25737″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]At the Miss Angola held on December 18, 2010 Luanda, Leila Lopes was voted Miss Photogenic in addition to being crowned Miss Angola 2010, earning the right to be the country’s representative at the Miss Universe 2011.

“Being Miss Universe is much more than having a sash and crown. It’s about taking pride in my commitment to serving as an ambassador to my country, and to women everywhere.”

At the 60th anniversary of Miss Universe held on Monday September 12, 2011 at the Credicard Hall (now Citibank Hall) in Sao Paolo, Brazil with contestants 89 countries, the Angolan beauty emerged as a crowd favorite early in the competition. Chants of “Angola! Angola!” became loud at a point making it difficult for the show’s hosts to be heard and indeed, Leila Lopes was crowned as the 60th Miss Universe.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25738″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]During her reign as Miss Universe, Leila lopes championed the cause of HIV/AIDS prevention, working with several organizations across the globe. She was named Drylands Ambassador by the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in an effort to combat land degradation which affect most countries in Africa.

With a passion for fashion, Leila Lopes hit the runway for several top designers and also featured on the cover of several international publications such as, New African Woman® and Selecta Magazine® the top Hispanics publication. During her reign, she visited over 24 countries around the world. Lisa Lopes was unveiled by Recare® as brand ambassador for Natures Gentle Touch® and its product Hairsavvy® in 2016.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25739″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]At a private ceremony in Luanda in May 2015, Lisa Lopes tied the nuptial knot with her heartthrob, Osi Umenyiora, a former National Football League (NFL) star who played for the New York Giants. The pair got engaged in February 2013.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”25740″ img_size=”600×400″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_border”][vc_column_text]For additional information, please see:

http://www.missuniverse.com/members/profile/599495

http://www.ibtimes.com/miss-universe-2011-leila-lopes-becomes-first-angolan-win-crown-photos-708474

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leila_Lopes_(Miss_Universe)

http://www.that1960chick.com/2014/07/08/nigerian-nfl-star-osi-umeniyiora-married-former-miss-universe-leila-lopes-over-the-weekend-in-angola-see-the-photos/

http://www.ngtrends.com/2016/03/former-miss-universe-leila-lopes-announced-as-brand-ambassador-for-natures-gentle-touch/[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Afro Tourism salutes this stunning African beauty, delectable actress, runway queen and fashionista, UN ambassador, city icon, national heroine and African star, Lisa Lopes Umenyiora![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Niyi David

Niyi David

Creative Writer
'Niyi David explores the beautiful and enthralling continent of Africa with Afro Tourism® capturing colorful memories of places, cultures and events in words and images.
Niyi David
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