PORT Elizabeth’s Ziphozakhe Zokufa has been named one of the Top 10 Miss Universe 2014 Pre-Arrival Hot Picks by Beauty pageant analyst website Missology.
Zokufa, 23, replaced Miss South Africa 2014 Rolene Strauss, crowned Miss World last month, and will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant in the US later this month.
The television production student, ranked No 10 by Missology, is up against beauties from 87 other countries.
The last – and so far only – South African crowned Miss Universe was Margaret Gardiner in 1978.
Soon after being crowned Miss SA, Zokufa said she was looking forward to her new role.
“This has been a lifelong dream for me. I am excited at the opportunities to continue inspiring the young women of South Africa.
“This is something I have always strived for.
“I am delighted and humbled that I have a chance to carry the South African flag and represent my country to the best of my ability at the Miss Universe Pageant.”
In one of her last tweets before jetting off to the US, Zokufa said: “In a matter of hours, I will be off to Miami to represent South Africa at Miss Universe #Epic #Believe xX”
She later posted a video on Instagram and Facebook introducing herself to her competitors.
The Missology top three hot picks are Miss France Camille Cerf, Miss Indonesia Elvira Devinamira and Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa.
Miss Universe 2014 will be crowned in Miami, Florida, on January 25.