Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri is representing South Africa at Miss Universe. Images: supplied.

Miss Universe: Ndavi Nokeri ‘carries the voices’ of SA women

Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri is carrying the voices of South African women with her as she revealed her black cape at the swimsuit competition.


Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri is representing South Africa at Miss Universe. Images: supplied.

Miss SA Ndavi Nokeri carried the voices of South African women with her at the Miss Universe pageant with her customised black cape – revealed during the swimsuit competition on Wednesday 11 January.

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The 71st edition of the Miss Universe pageant takes place on Sunday 15 January New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. This year the pageant has seen a change in the format of the national gift auction.

Instead of bringing a national gift from their country, 84 contestants were required to customise a blank cape that they received from the Miss Universe organisers. 

This required inspiration from anything that could be related to their cause or the country that they represent. The capes – which will be auctioned instead of national gifts with proceeds going to charity – is worn during the Miss Universe swimsuit competition and was revealed earlier during the preliminary round.

Miss South Africa Ndavi Nokeri worked on the striking design, which has been titled “Perfectly Imperfect”, with graphic artist Ashlyn Atkinson from iDesign South Africa and Sinead Fletcher who painted the cape, along with voices of South African women.

“Throughout the centuries women have been made to feel unworthy based on any physical characteristics that might not have been desirable for the male gaze. With the South Africa cape, and also as part of a broader message of the Miss Universe platform, women are reclaiming the narrative around their bodies and what makes them beautiful,” said Nokeri and Atkinson according to the Miss SA Organisation.

Miss Universe
Ndavi Nokeri will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant. Images via Instagram @ndavi.nokerii.

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Ndavi explained what the design represented.

“For me the design represents liberation to be free from other people’s expectations of what I, or any woman should look like, in order to be considered beautiful. Beauty has no definition, it has no skin tone, it has no size and it is definitely not perfect,” she continued.

“I hope that the design emphasises that all women are beautiful in their own uniquely imperfect way. The Miss Universe contestants come from around the world  and have different shapes and skin tones. The one thing that truly makes women beautiful is our shared womanhood, our cellulite, our stretch marks, our scars, our curves, our different sized breasts, our different hair and our voices,” said Atkinson.

 Nokeri has a proudly South African support team in New Orleans cheering her. This includes Miss South Africa Organisation CEO Stephanie Weil, creative director Werner Wessels and her parents Moses and Betty Nokeri.

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