Ndavi Nokeri is country’s pride as she grabs Miss SA title

Ndavi Nokeri is the new Miss SA. Picture: Supplied

Ndavi Nokeri is the new Miss SA. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 15, 2022


Pretoria - The much coveted Miss South Africa title has made its way back to Limpopo to loud applause and excitement at the finale of the contest in Pretoria on Saturday night.

The crown returns to the northern most province on the head of 23-year-old Ndavi Nokeri after a stint in Gauteng when it was held by Lalela Mswane, who went on to become the first black woman to win Miss Supranational.

The lass, from Tzaneen, grabbed the crown after a tight contest which brought a huge crowd to the Times Square Sun Arena in Tshwane. The event indicated how people had missed being out and about during the two-year pandemic which had the country in its grip.

The pageant featured an all female judging team, which had among them former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela, investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2021 and current Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu, Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss, Miss South Africa 1990 Suzette van der Merwe, and media personality Thando Thabethe.

Performances for the night included gigs by Makhadzi, Boity Thulo, Elaine and Lloyiso. The stage manager was also a woman while the MC was media personality Anele Mdoda.

The new queen held her own from the beginning of the contest, which had hundreds of applications and saw 30 contestants being considered, grilled and observed for their intellectual and beauty qualities.

That number had been whittled to 10 at the beginning of the night, then after several processes of elimination there were five girls, among them Lebogang Mahlangu, Luvé Meyer, Ayanda Thabethe, Tamsyn Jack and Nokeri.

A twist was added to this year’s contest when the pageant whittled the finalists down to a top two instead of three, to see Nokeri snatch the crown from Thabethe during the last round.

Nokeri had the crowd cheering for her throughout the night, which drowned out a portion of her answers, sourced from Twitter and the judges.

The beauty queen holds a BCom Investment Management qualification from the University of Pretoria, and works as a consultant for an asset management firm in Cape Town.

Among the prizes she walked away with is R1 million in cash and a sponsorship package valued at more than R3 million, which includes the use of a serviced apartment at the high-end Ellipse Waterfall for the year of her reign.

A white Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan also waited for her outside the arena, as did a year’s supply of cosmetics, clothing, jewellery and appliances.

Runner-up Thabethe, from Pietermaritzburg, received a R150 000 cash prize, and she will be on standby to represent the queen if necessary at the world’s three most prestigious pageants, of Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Supranational.

An emotional Nokeri said, after the R5 million uBuntu crown was placed on her head and a bouquet of flowers in her arms: “For a girl from Gabaza to be seen, embraced and chosen to represent her country is a groundbreaking moment. A moment that reaffirms that our dreams are valid, regardless of where we come from.

“I am grateful for the women who have gone before me who broke the glass ceiling so I could stand here today empowered, fulfilled and ready to proudly raise the South African flag high everywhere I go and to shine the light of hope to all South Africans.

“As your Miss South Africa, I will represent South Africa, in all its diversity, resilience and beauty.”

Pretoria News