Limpopo-born beauty queen Ndavi Nokeri has begun her reign as Miss South Africa! The 23-year-old from Tzaneen who obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Pretoria was working as a consultant for an asset management firm in Cape Town at the time of her crowning. Miss South Africa’s pageantry extravaganza finale was held at the SunBet Arena at Time Square in Pretoria on August 13.
Ndavi walked away with a cash prize of one million rands and a sponsorship package totalling more than three million rands including the use of a serviced apartment at the lavish Ellipse Waterfall – developed by Tricolt and Attacq – for the year of her reign. She will also get to drive a Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.
In her acceptance speech, Ndavi expressed her gratitude for the trailblazing women who have come before her. “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,” said an emotional Ndavi.
“As your Miss South Africa, I understand the importance of representation, because it is through seeing other women look beyond their fears and their circumstances, that I gained the courage to rise to the call. I will represent South Africa, in all its diversity, resilience, and beauty. It really does take a village, and I am so grateful that my village showed up for me. It is now for me to work and ensure that every success of mine overflows into my country. Thank you for trusting me with this position. As this journey begins, I will work to make it a chapter in which anyone who has ever felt ostracised feels included and reassured of the value that they bring into the world,” said Ndavi.
During the pageant, it was announced that Miss South Africa will amend its rules to allow mothers and married women to compete in the pageant – in line with the new rules for the prestigious Miss Universe pageant.
The Miss South Africa 2022 pageant finale was broadcasted live on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161), and Mnet (DStv Channel 101) and was streamed to an international audience on the Miss South Africa app.
The all-female judging line-up comprised of some of the country’s most respected and influential personalities including former South African Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela; reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu of India; former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi (2019) and Miss World Rolene Strauss (2014) as well as award-winning investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender; businesswoman and Miss South Africa 1990 Suzette van der Merwe and actor and TV personality Thando Thabethe.
Nokeri made the top three with fellow contestants Lebogang Mahlangu and Ayanda Thabethe. She was also the winner of the People’s Choice vote. As Miss South Africa, Ndavi will represent South Africa at the world’s three most prestigious beauty pageants – Miss World, Miss Universe, and Miss Supranational.