A radiant Ndavi Nokeri from Limpopo has been crowned Miss South Africa 2022 at a glittering pageant finale which was held at the SunBet Arena at Time Square in Pretoria.
The 23-year-old – who comes from Tzaneen – obtained her BCom Investment Management qualification from the University of Pretoria and was working as a consultant for an asset management firm in Cape Town at the time of her crowning.
Nokeri received R1-million in cash in a prize and sponsorship package totalling more than R3-million 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.
The runner-up was Ayanda Thabethe from Pietermaritzburg in KZN who received a R150 000 cash prize.
Nokeri will represent South Africa at the world’s three most prestigious pageants – Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Supranational.
In her acceptance speech Nokeri said: “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.
She explained how failure had helped her grow and achieve: “Growing up, I struggled with mathematics in school. With every bad result I received, I started believing and accepting that it was something that I just couldn’t do until I decided to approach it with a different attitude. I decided that I am the author of my own story and so I redefined myself as a woman who is capable of doing all things she sets her mind to with excellence. This is the attitude that I carry with me into every journey and it has shaped the person I am proud to be today.”
Nokeri was also the winner of the People’s Choice vote.
During the pageant it was announced that, following the recent announcement by Miss Universe to change its rules to allow mothers and married women to compete in the pageant, Miss South Africa will also change its rules to allow this.
The Miss South Africa 2022 pageant finale was broadcast live on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) and Mnet (DStv Channel 101) and streamed for an international audience on the Miss South Africa app.
The all-female judging line-up comprises 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.