Married women and mothers rule change to Ndavi Nokeri taking the crown - 5 highlights from Miss SA 2022

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Miss Supranational and former Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane and Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri.
Miss Supranational and former Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane and Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri.
Photo: Fani Mahuntsi/TRUELOVE

At 23 years old, Ndavi Nokeri was crowned Miss South Africa 2022 on 13 August 2022.

This was about four months after the entries for South Africa’s biggest pageant opened. After the month-long process that saw Top 30 contestants being cut down to a Top 10, a new Miss South Africa was finally crowned.

Ndavi was crowned Miss SA after winning the public vote as well as the overall judge’s vote. The runner-up is 22-year-old Ayanda Thabethe from KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking to TRUELOVE the CEO of Miss SA, Stephanie Weil, explains how the overall selection of the winner came about.

“The judges all vote on who will be in the Top 5 and the viewers’ vote also counts towards that. So, ultimately, it works on a sliding scale as you can imagine and our auditors verify everything. Post Top 5, the scores go back to scratch and we start again,” she says.

The crowning ceremony started with a vibrant red carpet where guests included celebrities, former pageant title holders, judges and reigning Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu. They all showed off their beautiful gowns before heading into the arena for the main event.

The televised ceremony kicked off with a group performance by Boity, Nadia Nakai, Rouge and Elaine before moving on to the different sections of the competition.

READ MORE | Everything you need to know about the Miss SA Top 10

Here are five highlights from the pageant:

1. Words of encouragement from former pageant queens

Before the main show, TRUELOVE caught up with former Miss SAs Tatum Keshwar (2008), Rolene Strauss (2014) and Kerishnie Naiker (1997), who all shared a message of encouragement to the Top 10 contestants.

Tatum Keshwa: “Right now the girls are experiencing all kinds of butterflies as they prepare to walk that stage in just one hour. Whoever it is, congratulations to you, the crown is meant to be yours. To the rest of the women, this platform is an amazing platform to change your life and you can do it even without the title. Good luck for tonight.”

Rolene Strauss: “My message for the Top 10 is that tomorrow morning you’ll wake up and it will all feel like just a dream, so enjoy every single moment and shine your light.”

Kerishnie Naiker: “I wish all our finalists tonight absolute luck. Enjoy the stage, and whatever happens, remain sincere and remain trustworthy and remain authentic. It’s so important irrespective of what you do with your career, whether it is Miss South Africa or any other platform you have. Be the voice of reason, be the voice people can trust, be the voice you listen to when you listen to your inner self. Know that you are valuable, you are everything and you matter.”

2. Miss SA Organisation follows the Miss Universe's lead in inclusivity

During the show, Anele Mdoda - who was the host for the evening - revealed that the Miss SA pageant will now allow married women and women with children to enter the competition. 

Miss SA host Anele Mdoda
Miss SA host Anele Mdoda

In the previous years, the pageant had also stripped away some of its former restrictions, which excluded women with visible tattoos and piercings as well as plus-size women from entering the competition.

3. Only an official Top 2 will be crowned going forth

Announcing another new rule for the competition, Anele revealed that the competition will no longer have a first runner-up, second runner-up, plus the winner – but will now only have a winner and one runner-up.

Miss SA Top 2
Miss SA Top 2 Ndavi Nokeri and Ayanda Thabethe

Unlike the previous years where the Top 3 contestants would all respectively represent the country in three different international pageants, going forth, the reigning Miss SA would enter all three international pageants and her runner-up will only assist should she not be able to fulfil her obligations.

READ MORE | Inside Miss South Africa’s R10 million luxury apartment

4. The top 5 contestant’s question and answer session

During the show, the Top 5 contestants were chosen and each had a judge who would ask them a question. Here’s how they answered:

Devi Sankaree Govender’s question to Luvé Meyer: If right now you had an opportunity to speak truth to power, what truth do you want those who are leading our country to hear?

Luve: Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst teenagers. Mental health is such an important thing that we need to focus more on. A mentally healthy society is a loving and caring society and I need our leaders to care a little more.

Miss Universe 2021
Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu

Harnaaz Sandhu’s question to Ayanda Thabethe: Who do you think leads to period poverty – men or women and why?

Ayanda: This is a complicated question to answer and I say that because the people that are to blame are the leaders that have all the power to change the rules and allow women to have access to sanitary towels for free. And whether that be a woman or whether that be a man, if you know you have the power inside of you to change the status quo and you do not do so, then you are to blame.

Thando Thabethe's question to Lebogang Mahlangu: The title of Miss South Africa comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of public scrutiny, so heavy is the head that wears that crown. How do you plan to protect your mental health during your reign?

Lebogang: I am somebody who defines their true north as existing in any place or space that allows me to create growth and development of my community and its young people, I will always stay true to that true north. I will pause when I need to and reroute when I need to. I will also say in that same breath to everyone that is chasing that same mission, you cannot pour from an empty cup so make sure to take care of yourself first.

Zozibini Tunzi’s question to Tamsyn Jack: So, we have been through the most challenging time with the pandemic and the world as we have always known it has ceased to exist, so what would you say are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from this time and how will you take them moving forward?

Tamsyn: The biggest lesson I took out of the pandemic was how valuable it is to be an adaptable person. Plans don’t always work out the way that we think and don’t go according to how we envisioned them but it’s really important to be adaptable and be able to make new plans and have a new mindset and as Miss South Africa, I will do just that.

Thuli Madonsela’s question to Ndavi Nokeri: Our constitution commits us to heal the divisions of the past and create a new society that is based on social justice. How will you use your title as Miss South Africa to lead the nation, to embrace the constitution and play a part in enhancing social justice?

Ndavi: We cannot say we are moving forward as a nation while half of the country is still getting left behind. Fifty percent of our country is still living below the poverty line and it is our responsibility to ensure that we create a sustainable, innovative and, most importantly, an inclusive South Africa that we can all live in.

5. Ndavi is crowned Miss SA

After winning the public vote and the judge’s overall vote, Ndavi Nokeri is crowned the new Miss South Africa.

Lalela Mwane crowns Ndavi Nokeri as Miss South Afr
Lalela Mwane crowns Ndavi Nokeri as Miss South Africa 2022

She walks away with the title, a R1 million cash prize as well as other prizes, which include a R10.5 million penthouse as well as a brand new Mercedes Benz.

@truelovemagazine The moment Ndavi Nokeri was crowned Miss South Africa 2022! Hailing from Tzaneen, Limpopo, 23-year-old Ndavi is your Miss SA ?? #ndavinokeri #limpopo #misssa2022 #misssouthafrica ? original sound - truelovemagazine

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