Home Lifestyle LOOK: Ndavi Nokeri’s national costume(s) for Miss Universe revealed

LOOK: Ndavi Nokeri’s national costume(s) for Miss Universe revealed

Two queens, Zozibini Tunzi and Ndavi Nokeri. Picture: Frennie Shivambu

And when the big moment came, everyone in the room was impressed with what the designers came up with.

For the national costume, the Limpopo beauty will don a Tsonga-inspired asymmetrical dress with African map wings built by Henk Henderson of Henderson Worx to represent her African heritage – completing the look with a pink flower hat.

The costume was designed by Sello Modupe, the founder of Scalo Designer, who describes it as a raw African masterpiece with a modern twist.

Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri revealed her national costume at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton for the upcoming 71st Miss Universe pageant. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Werner Wessels, the creative director of the Miss SA organisation, says the national costume is of critical importance when it comes to showcasing the country of the pageant contestant. Hence they always put a lot of effort into it because it is where they can be proudly South African and showcase the country on an international stage.

“For the first time in our national costume, we also wanted to have Africa represented. One part of the wing will be the South African flag which we are proud to carry across the world stage. However, there’s another element that we wanted to showcase, which is that Ndavi is part of a greater global community and is proudly African. The other part of the wing features all 54 African countries to emphasise we are part of a universal network,” he said.

The second gown, which is a hand-beaded gold number, is a representation of South Africa’s rich minerals. It was designed by Juan Visser of Juan William Aria, who is responsible for all Nokeri’s pageant gowns, including her preliminary outfit and finale gown.

Miss South Africa Ndavi Nokeri in her Miss Universe farewell gown. Picture: Frennie Shivambu

“I knew with these gowns that I wanted to go all out, as this is not only a dream come true for Ndavi, but for me too. Since I was a young boy watching the Miss South Africa pageant, I knew I wanted to design clothes for the winner. To have my work showcased on the international stage is an honour, and I am delighted to be part of Ndavi’s continuing journey,” says William.

He adds that he spent more than two months creating the gowns, and it was worth every second.

“The fabric for all three gowns was custom designed and beaded and is a process that has taken more than two months from concept to completion. Each detail was meticulously planned and selected so we could achieve the desired look and vision. Her preliminary and final gown involved seven beaders, each taking more than 160 hours to bead,” he said.

Nokeri, who couldn’t hold her tears when she saw the video of her family and friends wishing her well on her journey, thanked everyone who has been part of her life-changing moment, especially her parents.

Miss South Africa 2022 Ndavi Nokeri flanked by her father Moses Nokeri and mother Betty Nokeri, shed tears as she observes messages of encouragement displayed on screen, after her national costume was revealed at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, for the upcoming 71st Miss Universe pageant. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

“Thank you for all the prayers, and I say prayers because you guys get to meet Miss South Africa, but my parents have taken me the whole journey from being a small child, to my teenage years and to where I am today. Thank you for walking that journey with me, being gracious to me, praying for me, and teaching me the values of what it means to be a true child of God,” she said.

Nokeri said that when she walks onto the Miss Universe stage, she wants to tell her real story, the story of a young girl from an ordinary background in the Gabaza village who has been trusted with the responsibility to represent an entire nation.

The 71st Miss Universe will take place at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Centre on January 14, 2023.