Meet the New Miss Universe 2019 – Zozibini Tunzi
The 26-year-old claimed the Miss Universe crown ahead of Miss Puerto Rico on Sunday after a grueling 3 hours.
Born in Tsolo on 18 September 1993, Tunzi was raised in the nearby village Sidwadweni in the Eastern Cape, Zozibini. She has 3 siblings and was born to parents Philiswa Nadapu and Lungisa Tunzi who are both educators.
Tunzi is a proud Xhosa woman who enjoys traditional African food, her favorite meal being umngqusho (a traditional Xhosa dish made from stamp mealies and sugar beans) with beef stew.
The public relations graduate is not new to the pageant world, she won Miss Mamelodi Sundowns in 2015. She also entered Miss SA twice, making it to the semi-finals in 2017 before she won the pageant in 2019.
Refusing to be discouraged by an early elimination, Tunzi gave the national beauty pageant another go in 2019. Her courage to try again paved the way for victory as Miss Universe 2019.
Tunzi wowed the judges with her natural stage presence and winning smile, as well as her proudly South African fashion creations. She becomes the third South African to wear the Miss Universe crown. The first was Margaret Gardiner in 1978, followed by Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017. This also makes her the first black South African woman to be Miss Universe.
When asked what the most important thing we need to be teaching young girls today, Tunzi told host Steve Harvey:
“I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It is something that has been lacking in young girls and woman for a long time. Not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity. That is what we should be teaching these young girls. To take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself.”
Tunzi clinched the crown and millions of girls are carrying themselves that much higher with her win.