Tuesday 16th July 2024

From Timaru to Turkey: A Tongan girl from Timaru has been crowned Little Miss Universe at a prestigious international pageant in Antalya, Turkey.

Ten-year-old Tapaita Fonokalafi was overwhelmed with emotion, wiping away tears as she accepted the top placing at the Little Miss and Mister Universe competition held earlier this week.

Speaking from a cafe at 9pm local time in Turkey, Tapaita adorns her new tiara and sash recalling how she felt in her crowning moment.

“I felt very emotional, excited and happy.”

She was sitting with Kogi So, National Director and founder of Little Miss Aotearoa - the inaugural pageant Tapaita won last month to get to the global competition.

So, who . . .

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