Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri: ‘Your hopes and dreams are valid’

The new Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri is congratulated by her fellow contestants.

The new Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri is congratulated by her fellow contestants. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep

The new Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri is congratulated by her fellow contestants.

Ndavi Nokeri is the new Miss South Africa.

Nokeri takes over the reign from Miss South Africa 2021 and Miss Supranational 2022 Lalela Mswane.

The Limpopo-born beauty queen says she will focus on education and equality during her reign.

Newly crowned Miss South Africa 2022, Ndavi Nokeri, hailing from Gavaza village in Tzaneen, Limpopo, says her win breaks the glass ceiling, which inhibits young girls from a similar background from believing they can reach their dreams.

“I think it’s breaking the glass ceiling. I grew up in a rural area, and I didn’t always believe I could reach the big dreams,” Nokeri told News24 in a brief press conference following the pageant.

“Coming from such a small place, it’s really easy to disqualify yourself, so I think this can break the mental limitations we place on ourselves, and I really hope that girls can be released from that and believe they can also do it.”

“Sitting here, coming from Limpopo, it’s such a big deal because we are a rural area, and just to be able to represent all the ladies and girls from back home,” she added, answering questions from Miss South Africa organisation CEO Stephanie Weil.

“I know this is a big moment because they see their hopes and dreams are valid.”

WATCH | Ndavi Nokeri crowned Miss South Africa 2022

Nokeri told the room filled with journalists, photographers, and other stakeholders that while she did her first pageant at the age of 5, it wasn’t until she entered a pageant in Johannesburg in 2019 that she truly understood the power of pageantry.

“It really empowers women and helps them to stick to their power, be a voice and represent so many people,” she said.

Answering another question about how she plans to approach her year-long reign, the BCom Investment Management degree-holder said education and equality remain her focus.

“I look forward to working with the Miss South Africa organisation to make that a reality. I want to go to schools and bridge the gap. Seeing the education that we receive in the advanced schools versus in the rural area, it’s a huge gap, and we need to take it seriously and focus on it.”

Nokeri, who bagged prizes and sponsorships valued at more than R3 million, was announced as the winner at the prestigious event, which took place on Saturday evening at Sun International’s flagship venue, the SunBet Area in TimeSqaure, Pretoria. Her runner-up is 22-year-old KwaZulu-Natal-born Ayanda Thabethe, who walked away with a R150 000 cash prize.

While the two ladies were the winners of the night at the glamourous event, pageant host Anele Mdoda announced there would be changes to the criteria of women who would be allowed to enter the competition next year.

Women who had children or were previously married would also be eligible to enter the prestigious competition moving forward.

READ NEXT | A fan favourite wins the crown: Introducing Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri

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