Seven fascinating facts about Natasha Joubert, SA's Miss Universe hopeful
Pretoria’s Natasha Joubert, 23, is hoping to inherit the Miss Universe crown from fellow South African Zozibini Tunzi during the pageant’s glam finale in the US on Sunday.
If Joubert clinches the title, it'll be only the second time in the pageant’s 69-year history that a country has secured back-to-back wins.
That said, if anyone can do it, it's this inspirational beauty queen from Pretoria, who describes herself as “unwavering, compassionate and ambitious”.
Here are some interesting facts about her:
1. MISS UNIVERSE 2020 NOT 2021
Last year’s Miss Universe pageant was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so should Joubert win, she’ll be crowned Miss Universe 2020 not 2021.
2. FOURTH SOUTH AFRICAN TO WIN
If Joubert takes the title, she’ll be the fourth South African to wear the Miss Universe crown. The first was Margaret Gardiner in 1978, followed by Demi-Leigh Tebow (nee Nel-Peters) in 2017, and Zozibini Tunzi in 2019.
3. SHE WASN’T CROWNED MISS SA
Unlike the last three Mzansi beauties to compete in Miss Universe — Tebow, Tunzi and Tamaryn Green — Joubert never wore the Miss SA crown.
She did, however, place in the Top 3 of the 2020 Miss SA pageant, which was won by Shudufhadzo Musida. Thato Mosehle was named first runner-up, and Joubert second runner-up.
Musida and Mosehle will be representing SA at the upcoming Miss World and Miss Supranational pageants, respectively.
Says Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation, “We believe that we have chosen the perfect candidate for each competition and believe that they will do extremely well. We are hoping for more than one title.”
4. TALENTED FASHION DESIGNER
The BCom Marketing graduate founded her own fashion brand in 2016. Called Natalia Jefferys, it specialises in couture for special occasions like matric dances and weddings.
There’s an empowering story behind the origins of this business, which Joubert runs with her mom, Ninette.
When Joubert was a young teen, her father lost his job and the family could no longer afford the pricey evening gowns she needed to compete in modelling competitions. Determined to find a way to allow her daughter to continue to do what she loved, Ninette decided to have a bash at making these glam outfits herself, with Joubert dreaming up the designs.
Before long, other young women were asking if the mother-daughter duo could create dresses for them too — and so the idea for Natalia Jefferys was born.
Joubert has donned some Natalia Jefferys designs while competing in the Miss Universe pageant. Take a look:
5. SHE INSPIRED A BOOK CHARACTER
Joubert told the Sunday Times that one of her “very creative” friends wrote a book when they were teenagers. She based the characters on real people, changing their names, but keeping their initials the same. In its pages Joubert was dubbed Natalia Jefferys.
The beauty queen loved the moniker so much that she adopted it as the name of her fashion label.
6. SHE ADORES THE OUTDOORS
The beauty queen says people are often surprised to find out she was a tomboy when she was younger. “I was the only girl in my karate class and would much rather play outside with boys.”
Today, she “thrives in a natural environment” and, according to the Miss SA website, enjoys hiking and camping, loves sport and plays action hockey.
7. SHE'S NOT AFRAID TO SHOW HER TRUE SELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In a recent Sunday Times interview, former Miss Universe Margaret Gardiner asked Joubert about a post of her crying on social media.
Joubert explained: “I posted that picture because it isn't all sunshine and roses as people expect. Social media can be deceiving. People only post the best part of their lives.
“Having a breakdown, being overwhelmed — these things may have felt like a weakness in the moment, but I've turned it into power. Miss Universe needs to showcase inclusivity, relatability and that you represent your people in every way, including emotionally.
“I try to live my life realistically on a daily basis. I show people how I look without makeup, what I stand for, what I want to voice. I show people who I am.”