Bryoni Govender set to represent South Africa at Miss Universe

Bryoni Govender set to represent South Africa at Miss Universe

Reigning Miss South Africa Natasha Joubert cannot participate in Miss Universe due to pageant rules. 

Bryoni Govender Screenshot 2023-08-15 153901.jpg
Bryoni Natalie Govender/ Instagram (

She might not have won Miss South Africa 2023, but Bryoni Govender will be flying South Africa's flag high at one of the biggest international pageants. 

The qualified lawyer, who was named the first runner-up, will represent the country as Miss Universe South Africa. Natasha Joubert, who was crowned Miss SA, will not be taking part in Miss Universe as she was a contestant in 2021.

The international pageant's rules state that a contestant cannot enter more than once.  

Miss Universe officials confirmed that Bryoni will be the one to represent SA in a post shared on their official Instagram page. 

The next Miss Universe pageant will be held in El Salvador in November 2023. 

ALSO READ: "When Jacqui Mofokeng won Miss SA, it gave me hope"

Natasha will not be able to enter the Miss World pageant as well. Carol Bouwer bought the rights to the Miss World licence in South Africa.

Her company, Carol Bouwer Productions, will launch a new Miss World South Africa franchise. The winner will represent SA at the Miss World pageant. 

"Carol has a long history with Miss World having presented the MNET coverage of Miss World in 1994 at Sun City. Carol understands the importance of our cherished theme of Beauty With A Purpose, which underpins all Miss World activities around the world! Carol’s passion, integrity and creativity will take Beauty With A Purpose to the next level," Miss World CEO Julia Morley said in May. 

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Natasha was expected to enter the Miss Supranational pageant, but she revealed this week that she would not be competing in international pageants. 

Richards Bay beauty Lalela Mswane, who is a Bachelor of Law graduate, became the first black woman to win the pageant in 2022. 

ALSO READ: Lalela Mswane "filled with gratitude" after Miss Supranational win

Natasha, who entered Miss South Africa for a second time this year after placing in the top 3 in 2020, is looking forward to a successful reign. 

"This moment is and never will be only mine! I share this with each and every one of you who have walked this journey with me since 2020 and even before! My beloved South Africa, I thank you for entrusting me with this incredible responsibility of serving you! I promise to do my very best each and every day but I cannot do it alone. Walk with me as we embark on this journey of a lifetime together!" she wrote on Instagram

Who is Bryoni Govender?

Bryoni Govender is "bursting with pride" after her first runner-up placement. The 26-year-old hails from Kempton Park, Gauteng. 

According to her biography on the official Miss SA website, she is a qualified lawyer. She was working as a trainee associate while waiting to be admitted as an attorney when she entered the pageant. Bryoni has since been admitted!

"She describes herself as graceful, ambitious and courageous, and loves a good mutton curry on the weekend. She adores animals but dogs are her favourite. She also loves travelling and would like to have a conversation with Angelina Jolie because of the way she uses her platform as an actress for women empowerment by shining light on women and girls’ rights around the world," the bio reads. 

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Bryoni is already receiving a lot of support from beauty pageants fans. They hope she will bring the Miss Universe crown back to South Africa in 2023.

Zozibini Tunzi was the last woman from the country to win the pageant. She was crowned in 2019.

"Well done Bryoni! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next. There will be more," Zozibini told Bryoni after Sunday's ceremony. 

Miss South Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie added: "Congratulations beautiful queen! Such an exciting journey ahead. So excited for you!"

ALSO READ: Zozibini Tunzi's singing skills take centre stage on 'The Masked Singer SA'

We're crossing our fingers and our toes until we hear the words...

"Your new Miss Universe is Bryoni Govender!"

Main image credit: Instagram/

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