Leila Lopes, Miss Angola 2011, beat 88 contestants Monday night to take home the Miss Universe crown.
The 25-year-old beauty hopes to use her new role to help the people of Angola (which is situated in south-central Africa, on the Western coast).
The pageant was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the native language is Portugese. Since Angola is a former Portugese colony, Lopes was able to wow the crowd by speaking the local language.
Lopes is a business student from the town of Benguela.
I've worked with various social causes. I work with poor kids, I work in the fight against HIV. I work to protect the elderly and I have to do everything that my country needs, the Hollywood Reporter quotes her saying at the competition. I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more.
Lopes is the fourth African winner of Miss Universe, and is the first Miss Angola to take the title. Miss Trinidad and Tobango has won twice, and Miss Botswana has won once.
Lopes received the crown from former Miss Universe 2010, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.
The panel of judges included Halio Castroneves, Connie Chung, Isabeli Fontana, Vivica A. Fox, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, Lea Salonga, Farouk Shami, Amelia Vega (Miss Universe 2003) and Italo Zanzi.
Thank God I'm very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn't change a thing, Lopes said in response to an interview question. 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.