“I’m bringing back the crown for you all, for South Africa,”
There was jubilation, tears, shouts of joy and excitement as Miss South Africa 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, was crowned Miss Universe at the Tyler Perry Studios is Atlanta last night.
It’s a huge leap for the humble girl from Tsolo who grew up amid great poverty in a rural part of the Eastern Cape.
Resplendent in a Gold and Blue Biji Gibbs designed gown, inspired by the African soil and the coastline of the Eastern Cape at sunrise, the 26-year-old wept as Catriona Gray, Miss Philippines Universe 2018 placed the crown on her head.
An exuberant Stephanie Weil, CEO of Miss South Africa organisation, said: “We are delighted and not in the least surprised. She shone in every way during the pre-process in the run up to Miss Universe.
“Zozi has such a unique look, she was a front runner from the start. We are so very proud of her. She is beautiful both outside and in.”
In a tearful interview after the pageant, Zozi said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received from “everybody back home. My social media accounts have blown up during the entire period. I want everyone to know I am very grateful”.
“I’m bringing back the crown for you all, for South Africa,” she said, adding that she was happiest that her #heforshe campaign – to get perpetrators of gender-based violence to be accountable – will have a global platform.
“We need to get the word out to men out there: Be better. Do better.”
Zozi becomes the third Miss South Africa to wear the Miss Universe sash and the crown, named “Power of Unity”.
Margaret Gardiner earned the title in 1978 and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wore the Miss Universe crown in 2017.
Congratulations Zozi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sibamba ngazo zozibini!!!!