Home COMPETITIONS True surrender...

True surrender…

It’s not often that you meet someone who is as focussed and confident about their direction in life as Nikita Gouveia. Our November cover girl is a former world dance champion, a yoga and meditation practitioner and she recently launched a beautiful lifestyle brand.

If ever there was someone who truly ‘lives the brand’, Nikita is that person. The name of her company, JustBe, is much more than just a name. It is her mantra. Her motto. And the way she lives her life.
“I’ve lived by this principle for most of my life. Life can be distracting, but all you really have to do is, ‘just be’. Be authentic, follow your intuition and leave the fear of other people’s opinions behind you.”

Originally from Johannesburg, 32-year-old Nikita has been living in Ballito for three years. Before that, the world was her playground. “I have always been a free spirit and I wanted to travel. My mom made me study after school, but as soon as I completed my marketing degree, I was off.”

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Nikita started dancing when she was young. She competed in Latin American and Freestyle dance competitions from the age of 13 and even represented South Africa in the world dance championships in England in 2010. When she started looking for jobs overseas, dancing was the most obvious way to get there. “I am not a planner. I am very spontaneous. When I got a job dancing at a hotel in Mexico with 30 other dancers, I didn’t realise no one else really spoke English! I had to teach myself Spanish quickly,” she laughs. “I was also told that I had to lose 10kg’s when I got there as I was bigger than the other dancers. It was a very tough time.”

After Mexico, Nikita spent six months in Ibiza and then went to India. “I didn’t want to stay in one place for too long and I always travelled on my own. I like making my own decisions.” Although she didn’t have a job in India, Nikita says she knew she’d be able to ‘hustle’ and make it work. It was in Mumbai that she discovered the Bollywood dancing scene and got a job working as a cheerleader for the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket league.

On a trip to Northern India, with hardly any money and nowhere to stay, Nikita found herself living in an Ashram. “I was told that I could stay there for free for a week, as long as I did ‘services’ like cooking, cleaning and gardening. And that was where I discovered yoga,” she says. “Every day you have to do yoga and meditate and a spend few hours in ‘noble silence’. I was hooked and immediately started researching more about the practice.”
Nikita went back to Mumbai for a month to do one last IPL gig in order to have enough money to pay for a yoga teacher training course. Although she never intended on teaching yoga, Nikita ended up doing three courses. “I just wanted to completely indulge and immerse myself in the practice.”

Her next job was as a dancer on an Italian cruise liner. Six months later, she returned to South Africa and moved to Cape Town. “I got a job as a waitress and, because I had never done it before, I ended up dropping a lot of cocktails,” she laughs. After that, Nikita worked in marketing, where she says, she learnt a lot. She also met her partner, Andy, who lived in Ballito. She moved to Brettenwood to be with him three years ago. “I never thought I’d move for love, but here I am,” she smiles. “I’m still a very free spirit, but I love that it’s quieter here and I am less distracted. That, along with my age and experience, have allowed me to figure things out and consolidate who I am and where I’m going.”

Nikita’s brand has three branches: a marketing and branding company, yoga and mindfulness classes at Brettenwood Coastal Estate and the retail side, Just Be lifestyle.
Not just a yoga brand, Nikita says Just Be is for those who have a lust for life and who are eager to embrace their uniqueness. The range includes locally handcrafted cork bags and wallets and bright colour and print yoga apparel. All of the bags are named after one of the places Nikita has been. “I’ve travelled to 32 different countries, learning about different cultures and embarking on thrilling journeys. I’ve tried to grow from every situation and experience and draw inspiration from the people I’ve met and places I’ve seen.”

Details: www.justbelifestyle.com, [email protected], 072 645 0364, FB: @justbelifestyle, IG: @justbe_lifestyle

Stand a chance to win a small sling bag from Nikita’s new collection.
Enter on our social media platform @GetItMagNC

Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Robyn Rose Photography
Hair and makeup: Volenti Laurentina

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