Franki Russell is Miss Universe New Zealand 2024, the First Representative in 5 Years

Franki Russell is Miss Universe New Zealand 2024, the First Representative in 5 Years


Filipino-Kiwi actress Franki Russell has been announced as the new Miss Universe New Zealand 2024—here’s what we know about her

Bullying continues to demand attention and action as it undermines the well-being of individuals across various demographics and environments. In the universe, there is an individual who aims to put this pervasive issue in society in its place. She is Filipino-Kiwi actress Franki Russell, Miss Universe New Zealand 2024—the country’s first representative in five years. With her platform, Russell endeavors to confront this pervasive societal issue head-on, advocating for positive change and empowerment.

RELATED: The Miss Universe Philippines 2024 Contenders to Watch

Meet Miss Universe New Zealand 2024 Franki Russell MEGA
Frankie Russell is New Zealand’s first representative after five years since 2019

In an Instagram post, the actress says, “A new chapter. This really feels like a ten year journey in the making. I applied for Miss Universe New Zealand in 2014 – I was 19 at that time and really didn’t know who I was as a person. A lost girl just wanting to find her purpose and her place in this world. Now that I am 29, ten years older and with far more life experience, I realized that life definitely works in mysterious ways. As the saying goes: ‘everything happens for a reason’. and has lead me to this new role.”

Russell gained prominence after her stint on the reality show Pinoy Big Brother: Otso. She has since appeared in the television show with Coco Martin, Ang Probinsyano. As a Vivamax artist, she worked on films like Phil Giordano’s Pabuya, and Yam Laranas’s Laruan. She also played a part in Darryl Yap’s Martyr or Murderer.

Meet Miss Universe New Zealand 2024 Franki Russell MEGA
After her stint in Pinoy Big Brother, the Filipino-Kiwi actress starred in several projects including Ang Probinsyano

Before New Zealand, Russell represented the UAE in the Miss Universe 2021 competition, achieving a notable top 30 placement, as the supposed-inaugural competition was cancelled due to time constraints.

The actress’s fortunes took a turn when Filipino entrepreneur Josh Yugen assumed the role of the new national director and franchise owner of Miss Universe New Zealand. Yugen’s expansion of the Miss Universe franchise to Pakistan, Bahrain, and Egypt marks a significant milestone for his company, the Yugen Group, including further global diversity and inclusivity to the 72-year-old pageant.

Meet Miss Universe New Zealand 2024 Franki Russell MEGA
She placed Top 30 at the Miss Universe 2021 competition, representing the UAE

During the sashing ceremony held at The Alpha Suites in Makati City, Russell articulated her advocacy against bullying. “Cyberbullying is one of the main problems that the youth in New Zealand has been facing in the last few years. This leads to depression and can spiral down to suicide. With the platform that I have made, I can talk so much about this phenomenon happening with our youth today,” she expressed. “We can inform and educate kids on how to deal with situations where they feel bullied, understand their emotions, and protect themselves from any harm this might cause them.”

Meet Miss Universe New Zealand 2024 Franki Russell MEGA
The new Miss Universe New Zealand 2024 aims to combat cyberbullying as part of her advocacy

With the Miss Universe 2024 coronation night scheduled for September in Mexico, the Philippines is still in search of its representative. Reigning Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis Palacios will pass on her crown to her successor at this highly anticipated event.

Photos and Featured Image: FRANKI RUSSELL (via Instagram)

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