“It’s a great moment for me, my village and my country” – Ndavi Nokeri after being crowned Miss SA 2022

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Ndavi Nokeri says prayer, preparation and public support helped her win Miss South Africa pageant

She was crowned the new Miss South Africa 2022.

Throughout the competition, she walked the ramp with confidence and spoke eloquently when the judges asked her questions.

Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri (23) tells Drum that she threw her heart and soul into winning and made sure to have fun while she was at it.

Moments before host Anele Mdoda announced the winner, hearts were pounding, fingers crossed and sweat was pouring down the many backs of supporters waiting for their favorite to be chosen.

When Ndavi heard her name, she was in shock.

“I was completely shocked. You know you work so hard for something like this, but when the big day comes around you hope for the best,” she says.

“The whole show went by so fast; I was still having fun. When I heard my name, I couldn’t believe it. I was so shocked; it took me longer to process and believe it had happened,” she adds.

“This is a great moment for me, my village and my community. It’s not just about me, it’s about my province and my country. This is about any woman who has ever felt small and whose dreams were too far away for her to achieve. It will serve as a symbol that no matter where you come from, your dreams are valid and you can achieve whatever you set your mind to,” she says.

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The Limpopo-born beauty queen says what makes a great Miss SA is someone who sees the power of the platform and uses it to educate others.

“A great candidate for Miss South Africa is a woman who understands the power of the platform. You have the opportunity to speak the truth, educate, change mindsets and empower people to understand that women are not limited not to beauty. We are powerful and resilient.

Being crowned Miss SA Women’s Month is something she lives through in her history books.

“I’m so proud to say that on Women’s Month I became Miss South Africa. It’s such a groundbreaking moment for me. I believe we should really celebrate the women who have stood up and fought for our rights,” she said.

“But with the same breath, we should remember all the women who have lost their lives to gender-based violence in South Africa. So it’s really a call for me to continue the conversation to make sure we counter this and reduce the number of women who are at risk every day.

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The day before the contest, Ndavi says she knew keeping a clear mind, praying for the best and staying calm would get her to the finish line.

“I am a great woman of faith, I prayed a lot and reaffirmed. I believe there is a time and a season for everything and I know that what is meant for me will never fail me. You can do all the preparation you need, but the rest was also important to be able to set it up and get a sense of calm and contentment.

Ndavi says winning starts in the mind.

“If you do something, you have to see yourself achieving it. Before you win anything, you have to believe it’s possible,” she says.

“Having seen many women who had similar backgrounds to mine who embraced their power and looked beyond their fears, I was encouraged. So I had to believe that I could be able to stand before the judge .

What kept her going throughout the competition was the support from the public.

“When I came out I thrived on their energy, they were so supportive of me. Having won the public vote as well, I really felt a responsibility to stay confident and keep believing I was gone. so far and that I had to hold myself in my power.

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As a teenager, Ndavi wanted to enter beauty contests to change people’s perception of people in the villages.

“When I was 20, I did a pageant called Miss Jozi and that’s where I learned the power of pageantry,” she says.

“I learned that there are many things you can do as an individual for your country. So I wanted to access the Miss South Africa platform to reach a wider audience. Coming from ‘a village, people may think that it is not possible to achieve certain things and I wanted to be part of the voices that say that everything is possible. because of where you come from. Even if I did not win , but to get my point across and accomplish what I needed.

This coming year, she plans to use her name and make a change.

Ndavi believes that education comes first and everyone deserves a fair chance to have a good education. As the new Miss South Africa, she wants to get her hands dirty working on projects involving education.

“I am passionate about reducing educational inequalities in our country and I want to use this platform to have the greatest impact in this regard,” she says.

“Being a woman who grew up in a village and had the opportunity to go to school in better and advanced neighborhoods, I think there is a big divide that incites other social ills like crime , teenage pregnancy, etc. So I want to use my reigning year to make an impact.

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