Miss South Africa was warmly applauded after her last speech, a novelty in the competition, where she rightly declared that she wanted to do everything to encourage young girls to gain confidence in themselves.
"I grew up in a world where a woman like me, with my skin type and my hair type, was never considered beautiful," she regretted. "I think it's time for it to change today," she said to the audience's applause.
The short-haired young woman beat more than 90 other candidates to win the 68th Miss Universe title, and succeed Catriona Gray, Miss Philippines and Miss Univers 2018.
One of the favorites before the contest, Miss Philippines, did not qualify among the 10 finalists. The French Maeva Coucke did it, but did not reach the "top 5".
Miss Burma, Swe Zin Htet, was also eliminated before the final, which had made headlines last week by becoming the first openly gay candidate.