Miss South Africa
Miss Universe 2019
This year's Miss Universe crown has been won by South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi. 26-year-old Zozibini defeated Miss Universe Puerto Rico to win the crown.
Zozibini and Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson were the top two contestants for the Miss Universe title. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray crowned Zozibini Tunzi at the event held in Atlanta on Sunday night. Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was named the first runner-up, followed by Mexican contestant Ashley Alvidrez as the second runner-up. Also part of the top 5 were Colombia and Thailand.
"BLACK GIRL MAGIC"
When Tunzi was crowned as the winner of the 2019 Miss Universe competition on Sunday night, she took a moment to speak about the importance of shifting antiquated beauty standards — and finally celebrating "black girl magic."
"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," the 26-year-old said during her closing statement. "I think it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine."
Zozibini Tunzi took to her Twitter page and shared her beautiful portrait with an inspiring caption.
Beating more than 90 contestants, including Miss India, from around the globe. Tunzi was declared the winner at a televised event, hosted by American comic-turned-TV personality Steve Harvey, held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on Sunday, 8th December 2019.
After 2011 when Leila Lopes from Angola took home the crown, Tunzi is the pageant's first black winner in eight years. In her official Miss Universe bio, Tunzi is described as, "She has devoted her social media campaign to changing the narrative around gender stereotypes. She is a proud advocate for natural beauty and encourages women to love themselves the way they are."
During the Top 5 question and answer segment, Tunzi stated that individuals, government leaders and corporations should all be taking action toward protecting the planet, noting that it's time adults listen to young children who have taken part in climate strikes and protests.
"Since sixth grade, I've been learning that the climate is deteriorating and the planet is dying, and it is up to us to keep our planet safe," she said.
When asked what she thinks is the most important thing young girls should be taught today, Tunzi responded: "I think the most important thing ... is leadership."
"It's something that has been lacking in young women and girls for a very long time, not because we don't want to but because of what society has labeled women to be," she added. "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."
Whena presenter asked what reason South African women have to keep smiling despite facing challenges like emotional, physical and economic abuse, she answered:
"We have absolutely no reason to keep smiling because South African women are dying everyday and mostly people are doing nothing about it," Tunzi replied. "I think it's time that we stop asking women what to do and start asking perpetrators to do better, to be better, to start treating women the way that they deserve to be treated."
Zozibini Tunzi in a Biji dress and skyscraper heels at the Miss Universe competition in Atlanta, Dec. 8.
Tunzi was born in Tsolo, Eastern Cape to parents Philiswa Nadapu and Lungisa Tunzi, and raised in the nearby village of Sidwadweni. Tunzi is one of three sisters. She later moved to Cape Town, settling in the Gardens suburb, to attend Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in public relations and image management in 2018, and worked as a graduate intern in the public relations department of Ogilvy Cape Town.
Her Miss Universe Dress:
Tunzi claimed her title clad in a sparkling, custom-made Biji La Maison de Couture gown. The dress featured a cut-out accent at the midriff, with a thigh-high slit and an ombré finish that went from silver to gold to blue.
On her feet, the model wore brown skyscraper sandals that appeared to add around six inches of height. The sandals boasted a platform — a trend for this fall and a way to add increased stability to a sky-high shoe.
Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi (L) is crowned 2019’s Miss Universe by the 2018 Miss Universe, Catriona Gray.
Photo: Frank Micelotta/Shutterstock