At the 2011 Miss Universe pageant, Leila Lopes became the first Angolan woman to win the crown.
While its country-woman proudly wore the crown in Brazil, the African nation rejoiced at the victory along side her.
[Lopes] deserves the recognition and honor from all Angolans, said Angolan Minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva, Wednesday, according to Angolan state news agency ANGOP.
“There is a great engagement of assuring an advance with regard of the development, progress and well-being of the Angolan people,” added Angola's Media Minister, Carolina Cerqueira.
Cerqueira said that the Miss Universe prize showed the beauty and potential of all Angolans to overcome the obstacles in their lives.
The Angolan First Lady, Ana Paula dos Santos, was especially proud of Lopes.
Leila is really our queen and all Angolan women feel like Miss Universe as it is a very great honor for us to be there, with a competition with more than 80 girls and countries, with different habits, customs and religions, and they chose Angola, winning the crown of Miss Universe, said dos Santos.
The 25-year-old Lopes was crowned Miss Universe on Monday, Sept 12. She beat out first runner-up Miss Ukraine, Olesia Stefanko. Miss Brazil places as second runner up and Miss Philippines third runner-up.
Lopes is only the second black African to win the award, and the second Angolan to make the top 10. At the 2007 pageant, Angola's Micaela Reis placed seventh.
“I have to do everything that my country needs,” Lopes said after the event. “I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more.”