She looks like a goddess - Miss SA's father marvels over her costume ahead of Miss Universe

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Reigning Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri revealed her Tsonga-inspired national costume at The Maslow in Sandton. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press
Reigning Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri revealed her Tsonga-inspired national costume at The Maslow in Sandton. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press


“I am looking at her and I am asking myself, who is this girl? I can tell that she is my daughter, but she radiates, and she just looks like a goddess.” 

These were the proud remarks made by reigning Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri’s father, Moses, as he admired the young woman he raised, who was the centre of attention at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton on Tuesday during the Miss SA's official costume revelation and her Miss Universe sendoff. 

Moses and his wife who had travelled from their home in Gavaza Village just outside Tzaneen, Limpopo, sat in the front row as Nokeri modelled two gowns by popular designers Sello Medupe of Scalo Designs, who created her national costume, and Juan William Aria, who made her the gold hand beaded gown she was wearing during the reveal.  

Miss South Africa Ndavi with her parents Pastor Be
Miss SA Ndavi with her parents, Pastor Betty and Moses Nokeri. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press

Moses beamed with pride and could not hold back his smile while his wife, Betty, shared a tear as the 23-year-old winded up her final preparations for the Miss Universe stage, scheduled for New Orleans in the US on January 14.  

He said: 

I was looking at her and I don’t even know where this girl comes from. I even doubt that she is my daughter. Who is she? And then it came to me that this is God’s grace, and this is his mercy. This is all about God.

Nokeri’s sendoff event was hosted by former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi who stunned in a red open-slit gown. The event was also attended by the beauty’s close family, including her sisters and friends.  

Miss South Africa Ndavi with Zozi at the Miss Univ
Nokeri’s sendoff event was hosted by former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press

Her mother said the family was still in awe at the change her daughter's new title had brought to them and her community.  

“We are really amazed by everything that is happening here. We only see the grace of God upon our lives, our family and even her because what is happening is not something that someone can say they were waiting for, but it just happened and everything is blowing our minds. We are thankful,” Betty said.  

READ: Photos | Crowd favourite Nokeri crowned new Miss SA

Moses and Betty who, like millions of viewers across the globe only got to experience the Miss Universe pageant through watching it on television of recent, will this time travel with their daughter abroad to attend the prestigious pageant.  

Miss South Africa Ndavi Nokeri unveils her Miss Un
Nokeri's dresses are said to have taken eight designers, four months and a lot of hand bead work to put together. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/ City Press

“We will be going with her to the US, which means that we will be watching the pageant live this time... We have not been to the US before. This is our first time and we are so excited,” she said.  

She described her daughter as being warm and disciplined, even from an early age.  

She said: 

Ndavi has always been beautiful and disciplined. She takes care of herself. She is very cautious about what she does, watches, and listens to. We are not even worried when she is far away fulfilling her Miss SA duties because we know she is very disciplined.

“It is the grace of God that when you nurture someone's gift, you never know how it will end up. It is God who gives you strength to push and nurture them and support them towards their destiny,” she said.  

Nokeri said she loved her dresses and said they made her look like the Miss Universe that she hoped to become.   

She added: 

We want people to see the beauty of South Africa without us saying too much. The costume speaks for itself, and I think Scalo really managed to represent that. I think with that outfit, I really represent the vibrancy of the Tsonga colours. I represent the vibrancy, the energy, and the power of Africa.

Aria, who designed two dresses for Nokeri for the big night, explained that it took eight designers, four months and a lot of hand bead work to put together her dresses.  

He added: “The other two gowns, we took a lot of inspiration from the culture, the heritage, especially. After her homecoming, we sat down and discussed what we were going to design and with one of the gowns, we took inspiration from her village.”   


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