Bryoni govender

Bryoni Natalie Govender represented the country as Miss Universe South Africa at the 2023 Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador. She will also be representing South Africa at the 15th Edition of Miss Supranational in Poland with the finale event will take place on 6 July 2024.

She was named first runner-up at the Miss South Africa 2023 pageant which was held on 13 August 2023.

Govender was born on 17 July 1996 and is from Kempton Park in Gauteng in South Africa.

She attended Aston Manor Primary School and completed her high school studies at Ashton International College. She has a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Johannesburg and was admitted as an attorney in July, 2023, whilst she participated in the pageant.

Govender comes from a small but close knit family. Her father, Deven, is a business owner in the industrial supply space while her mother, Shireen, owns an aesthetic beauty salon. She has an older brother who works as an organic farmer in Germany.

Govender lists Angelina Jolie as a role model: “Not only is she brilliant at her job but she uses every opportunity to speak up and fight for female empowerment.”

Five shorts facts about Bryoni:


  1. She is extremely adventurous.
  2. She used to do tap and modern dancing.
  3. She loves watching true crime documentaries.
  4. She enjoys painting in her spare time.
  5. She hates raisins.

Bryoni’s campaign

Govender is fully committed to her advocacy on women empowerment in South Africa called Her Way Out, the main objective of which is to take up various causes on behalf of women everywhere and help educate them on their legal rights.

To make her campaign as effective as possible, Bryoni has teamed up with the Social Impact team at global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright to focus on, amongst others, access to justice projects. Govender has also been appointed as an ambassador for the public benefit organisation Lawyers against Abuse (LvA), who work to ensure meaningful access to justice for victims of gender-based violence by providing legal services and psychosocial support, empowering communities and engaging national authorities.

Says Govender: “Together with these legal powerhouses, I will travel across South Africa, visiting courthouses and legal clinics, schools and rural community halls – anywhere that I can address women, and help them understand their basic rights and enable them to make informed choices about their lives. What stops women from being empowered and from taking charge of their own destiny? I believe that the answer is simple: Knowledge, or a lack thereof.”

Bryoni is determined that all women benefit from her campaign.

“I want to empower all women, no matter the issue, from those battling gender-based violence, pensioners, women with health problems, professional women, mothers, grandmothers and daughters.

“Women are facing severe issues which stops their progress in life, and the time is now to recognise that women’s rights are human rights, and that women can become whatever they want to be. In my legal career, I have witnessed the disparity which exists between men and women and the existing patriarchy enforcing power over women, which urgently requires our attention and voice for change,” she emphasises.

At the Miss Universe pageant, Govender so impressed the judges with her advocacy campaign that she was named one of the Top 10 silver finalists in the pageant’s commended Voice For Change competition.



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