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Get to know: Melika Razavi, prettiest, smartest female poker star of our time

Get to know Melika Razavi, one of the prettiest and smartest female poker professionals South Africa has ever known, as she prepares for her upcoming, national financial education (wealth building) tour in SA in June.

Ever so confident and breathtakingly beautiful, Melika Razavi is the kind of woman who walks into the room and draws the attention of the majority without effort. In most cases, however, she’ll also be the smartest too.

The globe-trotting Iranian-South African beauty is a serial entrepreneur with a successful property portfolio and other business interests. She is also a global poker star, having recently won her first WSOP bracelet band the grand prize of $239,180, quadrupling the previous biggest score of her career.

A qualified personal trainer and a self-taught magician now based in Cape Town, Melika is set to embark on a national ‘Generational Wealth Education’ school tour in June this year where she will be speaking to learners in primary and high school, as well as university students in all of South Africa’s nine provinces.

A rare breed whose determination and ambition has seen her succeed against all odds, Melika feels strongly about championing women empowerment in South Africa and around the world. As such, she wants to use her upcoming tour of South Africa to educate the youth about basic money habits and share top strategies for building generational wealth.

Melika Razavi feels strongly about championing women empowerment in South Africa.

NOWinSA caught up with the incredibly hard-working businesswoman, and here is what she had to say:

Who is Melika Razavi ?

I am a professional poker player originally born in Iran and grew up in South Africa. I’ve won numerous women empowerment titles such as Miss Global Fitness 2016 and Miss Power Woman 2017.

A self-made millionaire, I was also named World Series of Poker (WSOP) pro champion in October 2020.

How does a normal day look like for Melika Razavi?

I’m not a morning person, however when I start my day I look forward to seeing how I can be of help to others. This motivates me to look into new business ideas, practice self-love and to create what l want to achieve from a place of my authentic self. I challenge myself daily in order to create a better version of myself in every possible way.

How did you get involved in poker?

I learned playing poker from an early age, I was fascinated by the seemingly complex yet simple card game. Since I’m born with a naturally curious mind and I’m interested in human beaviour and psychology, poker game has always triggered my curiosity, hence my love for it will never end.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Personally, l would like to start a family very soon. From a business perspective, l have recently started my own property development project that l would like to see grow and succeed.

Furthermore, I’ll certainly be appearing in more major poker tournaments around the globe in the near future. However, my biggest life goal is to make a difference in others’ lives and help more people in need where ever possible.

The fun and thrill of driving supercars can be as intense as playing poker for Melika Razavi.

What’s next for Melika?

Unfortunately due to new Covid-19 restrictions and the travel ban in South Africa, some of my plans for poker travels has been cancelled. As the result, my focus currently is entirely on my property development projects.

Some advice to all the young people and young women who look up to you?

Find the passion within you, visualise a future worth living, and when you find something, you work on it. As you move forward, keep believing in yourself – never give up.  It helps to know that your perseverance, hard work and vision will eventually pay off. You either live your own dreams or someone else’s. Chose your own and make it a reality.


  • Newest addition to the NOWinSA family, Zareef Minty‘s column titled, ‘Get To Know…’ is published every Monday.
Editor's Desk
Editor's Desk
Curated by editor-in-chief, Tankiso Komane, this special collection of articles from the Editor's Desk unpacks topics of the day, including commentary, in-depth analysis and partner content.
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