The Rise of a star
After being crowned Miss Universe in 2011, Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes has become a popular Angolan figure and a leading African advocate to the world in bringing awareness to various causes and becoming a role model to many.
Leila’s ascendance to this crown begun whilst abroad from her native Angola as she was a studying business management in the United Kingdom Suffolk University, Ipswich at the age of 25 Leila’s life slowly started to change. A timid business student that entered a beauty pageant in London won and gained the crown as the most beautiful Angolan female in the United Kingdom. It was to be one of many titles that Leila would hold throughout an astonishing 12 month period.
Leila later participated in the national beauty pageant in Angola collecting admirers with her humble nature, her radiant eyes and uplifting smile also earned Leila the title of Miss Photogenic. Winning the hearts of the judges and public Leila was crowned Miss Universe Angola 2011. Becoming the latest national figure and being inundated with constant media coverage and public appearances enabled Leila to grow in stature, confidence and exposure.
On September 12th, 2011 Leila Lopes became a part of history in becoming the first Angolan born to win the coveted title and the seventh African to be crowned Miss Universe. Her ascendance had now reached new heights her life was never to be the same. The immediate relocation moving her to New York a city in which she had never visited now became home, far from friends and family. Leila then embarked on a global campaign fulfilling her Miss Universe duties taking her to South East Asia, Europe, Africa and across North America public appearances, speaking at events and raising awareness for numerous causes. During this period Leila became the longest serving Miss Universe to hold the crown. This experience ignited a passion using her position to help others in supporting initiatives and raising awareness in various charities close to Leila’s heart.
More than Just a Pretty face
It was probably due to the excess exposure of being Miss Universe that gained Leila her most prized title as she met and wed Osi Umenyiora formerly of the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons. The two Wed in Leila’s native Angola in mid 2015.
Leila is very driven towards building a socially conscious brand that can help assist the less fortunate allowing her to expose her business and humanitarian side. Leila hopes to target the next generation through various forums through education, motivation and inspiring through her businesses and charities.