After 21 years, Miss Universe Canada Nova Stevens finally got to embrace her family after she reunited with them in Ethiopia.
“Words can’t explain how I feel right now. I’ll try my best to express all these emotions I’m currently embodying. It has taken me 21 years to reunite with my family,” wrote Nova on Instagram April 18.
The memorable reunion happened before Nova flew to the US for the 69th Miss Universe competition which will be held on May 16.
After her family fled civil war in Sudan, Nova was sent alone to Canada at age 6. She grew up separately from her family.
Nova is a co-founder and spokespersons for ‘Freedom March Vancouver’ and ‘Black Freedom Society’ whose mission is to eradicate hate and racism experienced by black and indigenous people of color.
Nova has an affinity for acting and modelling and has made appearances on productions in the film industry in Vancouver. She expresses herself through art and movement and has worked internationally in Fashion Week across the globe.
Her full post:
“Words can’t explain how I feel right now. I’ll try my best to express all these emotions I’m currently embodying. It has taken me 21 years to reunite with my family.
“Being separated and living alone without my family has not been easy for me; neither has it been for them. My strength comes from my family. They are some of the strongest people I know. My mother.
“I don’t even have enough words to describe how incredible, strong and beautiful she is. If I can be half the woman my mother is, I’ll be extremely happy.
“For a parent to send a child away on their own is one of the biggest sacrifices. My parents took a chance and sent me away to Canada for the opportunity to have a better life. We were a part for so many years but the bond never faded.
“It was always there and today I saw and felt the strength and love of my family both near and far. I felt the presence of my ancestors. I’m both happy and sad. Happy: because I finally got to see and embrace my family and tell them ‘I LOVE YOU’ in person.
“Sad: because of the conditions they are living in. My mother got out of the United Nations camp on January 21 , 2021 after 8 years of being stuck there due to the conflict in South Sudan.
“The fact that she was able to make it out there alive is a miracle on its own. Hearing the stories she would tell me and knowing that they once tried to burn her alive terrified me.
“There were times I didn’t hear from her and thought of the worst case scenario because it was very common to lose loved ones during that time. I truly believe that God made all of this happen.
“God brought her out and brought me back to them. I am forever grateful to everyone that has been Instrumental in making my dream come true.
“Ethiopian Airlines @fly.ethiopian thank you so much for bringing me back to my roots. God knows had it not been for your generous sponsorship, I wouldn’t have been able to see them this year.
“To my God given family, the Saads, Miguel and Gui of @mgmode, my National Director of Miss Universe Canada @davila.denis , I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me and for my family. My heart is full of love. WE*R ONE. Thank you everyone.”