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Meet Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi

Want to know more about the newly-crowned Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi?

Here are a few interesting things to know about Tunzi, who is currently also holding the Miss South Africa title:

Meet Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi
Meet Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi

She was born in Tsolo, Sidwadweni in the Eastern Cape on 18 September 1992 into a family of educators – her mother Philiswa Tunzi Nadopu is a school principal in an Eastern Cape village called Bolotwa; her father Lungisa Tunzi works at the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria.

She is the second of four girls (Yanga, 30, Sibabalwe, 24 and Ayakha, 13) and jokes that she entered the Miss South Africa competition to prove she was the most beautiful Tunzi sister.

She was crowned Miss South Africa 2019 on Friday, 9 August, which just happened to be Women’s Day in South Africa.

At the time of winning the title, Tunzi was completing her B-Tech in PR at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology while working full time in an undergraduate programme at Ogilvy Cape Town. She had previously graduated with a ND Public Relations Management at the same institution.

She entered the Miss South Africa competition twice and was a semi-finalist in 2017 and winner in 2019.

She has chosen to celebrate her blackness by embracing her naturalness.

“I came into this competition with my natural hair as a symbol of my firm belief in fair representation of any shape and form. And so, through my win, I hope I have inspired people, even if just one person to be themselves at all times and to never compromise their identities, and to insert themselves in spaces where they feel that people like them do not belong,” she said.

She is determined to dispel the myth that beauty queens have no depth. “Beauty pageants in 2019 are more than just outer beauty, they are about what an individual can offer to the world. They are about being impactful, being an empowered woman who can empower other women as well. That can never be irrelevant.” 

Tunzi is using her platform to change the narrative around gender-based violence. She believes it’s time to lay the responsibility at the door of perpetrators and will use her year of reign working towards making them aware that they have to change their behaviour.

She is inspired by the likes of Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and those of their calibre.

Tunzi is a hardcore Marvel fan and enjoys the DC comic Wonder Woman.

She describes herself as a pretty good singer although she doesn’t sing publicly.

She’s terrified of heights (acrophobia) and holes (trypophobia).

Her favourite food is Umngqusho (pronounced "oom-nqoo-shoh" – which is made from stamp mielies and sugar beans) and a beef stew.

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