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It was the 68th annual Miss Universe pageant where our Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi became the next Miss Universe on the world stage in Atlanta. She now holds the title of Miss Universe and is the 3rd ever South African to win this prestigious appellation.

Let’s find out who is Miss Universe 2019?

Born and bred in the Eastern Cape, Zozibini Tunzi came from a family in education. Her mother is a school principal and her father works at the Department of Higher Learning. From a young age, her parents have cultivated a strong affinity towards education in her. Zozi’s father divulged that she has always been a bookworm and that playtime for her was asking her sister to do their homework together.

She draws her inspiration from her parents who taught her the importance of education, being a hard worker, compassion, and kindness.

In her Miss South Africa interview, she declared the following: “The social responsibility project that is the closest to my heart is education, simply because of everything it has afforded me. It has given me so many opportunities, and open so many doors and I feel like every South African child deserves one”.

Miss Universe 2019 winner, Zozi Tunzi holds a degree in Public Relations which she obtained from CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and worked as an intern in the PR Department at the esteemed advertising agency, Ogilvy.

Miss Universe: We have a leader in our midst

Along with education, she values leadership. She famously answered Steve Harvey’s question “What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?” with, “I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very 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 and that is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space in the society and cementing yourself.

This well-constructed answer resonated with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell, and many more. Our own President released a statement, issued by The Presidency, to extend his congratulations to our golden girl on behalf of the nation:

“Zozibini Tunzi’s achievement is one that fills all South Africans with pride, beginning with the humble village of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape which has produced an extraordinary woman and a global voice for gender equality.

“She is flying not only our national flag but also the banner for the global struggle against gender inequality and the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide.

“Zozibini’s call for the development of girls as the leaders of tomorrow and the empowerment of black girls in particular is one that should resonate and inspire action for gender equality in all societies around the world.”

Miss Universe is not just a pretty face…

Zozi celebrates natural beauty. She exclaimed on stage that she would like to diversify beauty and let young girls who were previously told that they were not beautiful, see themselves in her and know that they are beautiful. Not only this but also for them to do things they were once told they could not.

This aligns with her life motto: “Attempt the impossible in order to improve your craft”.

What’s next for the 2019 Miss Universe?

After winning the title of Miss South Africa, Zozi told Top Billing Presenter, Harmony Katulondi that she entered Miss South Africa because she is inspired by previous Miss South Africans and what they have done after they’ve won the title. She also said that she will use this platform to influence the education sphere and to empower and protect women. She affirmed this when she later told correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease from SABC, that she will use her platform as Miss Universe to do purposeful work, breaking beauty stereotypes and continue to advocate for gender-based violence. She stated that the Miss SA and Miss Universe platform gives her the opportunity to do just this.

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