Miss South Africa - 1997

Kerishnie Naicker

  • Welcome to the Un-Official Homepage of Miss South Africa 1997, Kerishnie Naicker, a native of Durban the vivacious Natalian is a qualified Pharmacist and currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Pharmaceutics at University of Durban Westville.

    So beware lads, this is lady has brains as well as beauty - and the chances are quite high, that her IQ is probably triple that of yours anyways.

    Kerishnie, became the darling of Kwa-Zulu Natal when she won the provincial leg of the Miss South Africa contest. Extremely photogenic and very friendly, the 25-year old from Reservoir Hills, Durban charmed her way into the finals and then in a tense final round won the coveted crown.

    Kerishnie has set several firsts with her achievement. By becoming the first Natalian to take the Miss South Africa title, she has put Kwa-Zulu Natal firmly on the map, and as probably the brainiest beauty yet to be chosen as a Miss South Africa she is an ideal role model.

    I've managed to reproduce some articles following the Miss South Africa Finals and together with the pictures they make some interesting reading. Also included are pictures leading up the Finals ... and why exactly Kerishnie was voted Miss Photogenic :-)

    Cheers Deon

    Road to the Crown

    Miss Photogenic

    Its not hard to see why Kerishnie was voted Miss Photogenic in a poll taken of the photographers covering the Miss South Africa. A radiant smile together with flowing locks enhances the already fabulous figure of the the current Miss South Africa.

    Probably my pick of all the photos available to me, I would'nt mind getting up to this photo every morning

    Kerishnie had the whole of South Africa, literally at her feet during the staging of the Miss World at the Sun City Leisure Resort. Apart from wowing the lensmen with exotic looking outfits - the Miss World contestants took to swimsuits and the artificial beach as well. But as Kerishnie will testify I'm sure ... no beach beats Durbans own :-))

    Flashing her captivating smile, Kerishnie captures her audience in any modern wear. Whether or not the beautiful takes to the International Modelling Scene remains to be seen.

    Apart from winning the Miss South Africa title, Kerishnie got the keys of a smart new Hyundai (to keep) and a Sandton Penthouse, from which she will probably be based for the duration of her reign as Miss South Africa.

  • Roll out the Red Carpet

    by Vasantha Naidoo ... Next Mag. Aug 1997

    A fairytale setting produced the new queen of South Africa for the next year, Kerishnie Naicker, the lovely pharmacist from Kwa-Zulu Natal, realised a childhood dream and her deceased fathers prophecy when she was crowned at the Sun City Superbowl on August 2.

    Clearly the countrys favourite contestant, Kerishnie had the audience up and cheering whenever she displayed her charming smile. Proving that her crowning was no token affair, Kerishnie had won the Miss Photogenic title at the contest (this was judged on the input of the photographers involved in the event) and she was voted Miss Reader's Choice.

    At the end of the day, she scooped up almost all the awards at the ceremoney. Following the pageant, Kerishnie (still breathless and reeling from the weekend) emphasised her determination to work with the terminally ill.

    "I believe that these people need our love and support more than anything. Hospitals do all they can and then its up to the hospice and the families to cope with the situation. I know what its like because I recently lost my grandmother to cancer. " says Kerishnie.

    Her determination to dedicate some of her time to the terminally ill was reinforced when Kerishnie met with four lovely young ladies from the Reach for a Dream Foundation. Kerishnie understands all to clearly the concept of reaching for a dream. She has dreamt about becoming Miss_SA since she was 15 years old when she used to watch the event with her father.

    "I was determined to enter the competition this year, but nobody was willing to help me. I called people up and finally tracked down the relevant offices to apply to. I did everything of my own accord. When I was crowned I shed tears of joy, because this was'nt just my dream - it was also my dads. He always believed I was his lucky charm. In fact, I was my daddys girl. My middle name is Jeannie, because dad always said all I'd have to do is make a wish and it would come true - he was right. "

    Although Kerishnie displays a friendly and outgoing smile, she says she's really an introvert.

    "Besides, anyone who has studied pharmacy would know that theres no time for a hectic social life" she says.

    Kerishnie was also disappointed at erroneous reports of her being a Bhangra queen at nightclubs.

    "Thats my younger sister. She's the extrovert who enjoys clubbing. People often make a mistake between us, but now she's away teaching bhangra in Chicago - which should tell you who the Bhangra Queen of the family is."

    Miss South Africa - 1997

    Thuthu Msomi, Ebony South Africa - September 1997

    Kerishnie Naicker is a bit nervous during a photo shoot. Modelling swimwear for a national magazine is a first for the recently crowned Miss South Africa.

    "I've never had a two peice swim-suit in my life." she says smiling bashfully. But as the camera clicks and the tempo music fills the studio her anxieties ease. Moving and grooving to the music, the shapely Kwa-Zulu Natalian beauty queen reveals : "This is'nt so bad, I can see that I'm going to have fun this year."

    Since her runaway crowning, Kerishnie has grabbed many headlines, a kiss from the President, and the unstoppable adulation from wellwishers seeking her autograph. All of this she has embraced with compassion and charm.

    "I did'nt know that the people held Miss South Africa so close their hearts", Kerishnie says, "Everywhere I go, I'm welcomed with open arms and pride. During my reign I hope to make meaningful contributions to the people of South Africa."

    With a tumultuos reign ahead, new challenges face the new Miss South Africa, who never thought she'd be voted the most beautiful woman in the country.

    "I have chosen to focus on the plight of the terminally ill," she says, "My aim is to raise funds for as many hospices as I can. I really feel that there is a lot that can be done to aid the suffering and the dying."

    Kerishnie, the winner of close to R1-million worth of prizes, including a car and R80 000 in cash, is not just a pretty face or a stranger to the suffering of the sick. The Durban born beauty is a qualified pharmacist who is enrolled for a Masters Degree at thw University of Durban Westville.

    "While studying, I was always interested in the community work. By Being a pharmacist, I do not only dispense medicine, I am contributiing to the health of my people. I am very sad that I have to put my work at the pharmacy on hold. The positive side, however, is that I will still contribute by raising funds for terminally ill patients."

    It seems that nothing but determination drives this humble and attractive belle who hopes to inspire of South African women to opt healthy lifestyles. Kerishnie almost did'nt enter the prestigous beauty pageant because she turns 25 next month.

    "It was my last chance", explaining that the beauty pageant is open for the countrys most beautiful women aged between 18 and 25. "It was now or never, as I desperately wanted to fullfill my fathers prophecy."

    Kerishnies parents, Amra and Joey Naicker, raised their three children with the strong emphasis on education and excellence. A self employed businessman and strict father, Joey Naicker only allowed his children to attend leadership courses and lots of sporting activities. There was no night clubbing till dawn. 3 years ago, her father died of a heart attack. The family was shattered.

    "It was the most devastating thing to happen to us" she says, "he always encouraged us to build brighter futures for ourselves. Shortly before he died he told me I was going to be the first Miss Indian South Africa."

    Kerishnie proudly recalls the night she won the prestigous Beauty Pageant. "My heart did a somersault, I was shocked, shaking and ecstatic. My dads dream was realised. But there was so many beautiful women around me that all deserved to win. It was unbelievable that I was chosed to be the most beautiful woman in South Africa .. my mother was overjoyed about my win."

    Kerishnie says wearing the crown is not going to change her values in life, "I thrive in being surrounded by pretty things. I rarely compromise when it comes to my comfort."

    Not even a loving, tall, dark and handsome partner ??

    "No compromise, she declares - I dont have a partner in my life yet. My only love ranges from prawn peri-peri to Bhangra dancing, my family and friends. But there'll be no harm if I meet someone who will whisk me off my feet sometime soon. For now I'm content to being who I am, a humble Durban girl with everlasting dreams of hapiness."

    Deon Naicker, 13th September 1997 - hawkeye@jupiter.cs.up.ac.za