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Zozibini Tunzi: Why This Year’s Miss Universe Is Such A Big Deal!

In case you have not heard about Tunzi, allow me to bring you up to speed. Tunzi, 26, was crowned Miss Universe 2019/20.  She is also the...

In case you have not heard about Tunzi, allow me to bring you up to speed. Tunzi, 26, was crowned Miss Universe 2019/20. 

She is also the reigning Miss South Africa, a charming queen and a true description of beauty and brains.

Tunzi is not only beautiful, but she also exudes eloquence and intelligence on stage and has broken the usual pageant rules often outlined for contestants participating in the event.

While other contestants strutted the runway with long hair, Tunzi opted for short hair and this was the first time a contestant was donning natural African hair at the Miss Universe beauty finale. The pageant ran for the 68th edition this year.

Tunzi’s pride in her African beauty was also depicted in the response of her final statement for the audience and judges.

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful. I think that it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face. I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Victory speech

Her response immediately earned her admirers across the world, especially those with a similar complexion. To them, one of their own was finally standing tall on a global platform, proudly speaking about her African heritage.
Zozibini Tunzi: Why This Year’s Miss Universe Is Such A Big Deal!
Zozibini Tunzi: Why This Year’s Miss Universe Is Such A Big Deal!
It’s no wonder that two weeks after her win, celebrities and people across the world are beginning to identify themselves with Tunzi. From the likes of Oprah Winfrey (media personality), Comedian and Daily show television host (Trevor Noah), Tyra Banks (Supermodel), Viola Davis (actress), among others.

South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa also congratulated Tunzi with a tweet, shortly after her win: “I too hope children the world over will see their faces reflected in yours and be inspired to believe in the power of their dreams. May young women continue to take up space and leave an indelible mark on society, just as you have.”

What Tunzi’s win means

In a recent interview with TimesLive, the SouthAfrican home of the Times and Sunday Times Newspaper, it is reported that after her win, she moved into a luxurious apartment in Manhattan, New York City, which will be home during her one-year-reign. She will share the apartment with Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst.

She is expected to perform a number of duties during her term in office, and, she will be under the professional management of the Miss Universe Organisation (MUO).
Part of her responsibilities include raising awareness on different global issues, visiting institutions such as schools, and supporting noble causes, attending events, making media appearances, among other tasks.

Tunzi, during her one year reign, will earn a salary, entitled to travel and living expenses, modelling portfolio, stylist and wardrobe, exclusive access to events, among other benefits.
But also, the Miss Universe title and exposure will give Tunzi the chance to represent her home country, South Africa, on a global level.

Her journey to the top

Tunzi’s journey into beauty pageantry began in 2017, after participating in Miss South Africa in 2017. She only made it through to the top 26 semi-finalists.
She later poured out her heart in a message saying, “This was big for us, for our province, for our little beautiful village. Yes, I do realise that this became more than just about me. Some of the judges pulled me aside and told me I was absolutely outstanding throughout my journey, I stood there, looked at them and thought ‘then why am I not in the top 12?’ I thought to myself ‘God’s timing is perfect. He is never early, He is never late, He is always on time’.” In 2019, Tunzi made a comeback by competing again in Miss South Africa. Those who watched the competition say Tunzi radiated confidence and elegance during the competition. She dazzlingly responded to the questions too.
Her win came with prizes such as a new car, a fully furnished Sandton apartment to stay in for a period of one year, and R1-million (about Shs24m).
Her win then made her qualify to represent South Africa at the Miss Universe finale, a title she scooped on December 8.


Born in Tsolo, Eastern Cape to Philiswa Tunzi, a school principal and Lungisa Tunzi who works at the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria, Tunzi attended the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Image Management in 2018. She has previously worked as a graduate intern in the public relations department of Ogilvy Cape. The beauty queen has three sisters.