Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi Crowned Miss Universe
South Africans celebrate Zozibini Tunzi's victory.
Today, Zozibini Tunzi got crowned Miss Universe at the 68th instalment of the global beauty pageant. The event took place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta Georgia on the 8th of December.
Catriona Gray from The Philippines crowned her successor Zozibini Tunzi at the end of the event which was hosted by Steve Harvey as has been the case in the last five years.
Tunzi made the shortlist of 20 semi-finalists after South Africans went out in their numbers to vote for her online in the last few weeks.
Tunzi has impressed not only because of her physical appearance, but her answers to the questions the contestants were asked during the event impressed many people and the judges. For instance, when asked, "What is the most important thing we should teach young girls today?" her answer was, "Leadership."
The 26-year-old from Tsolo in the Eastern Cape was crowned Miss South Africa 2019 in August and has been a big newsmaker, if not for her humanitarian work and the strides she's taken in her career, it's discussions around what her success means for how we view beauty.
A reasonable number of people on social media criticized Tunzi's appearance after her crowning, with some saying, "She looks like a boy." She responded in an Instagram post in September stating: "Society has previously been programmed in such a way that there's nothing beautiful about being black. The furthest you are from being fair skinned the uglier you are. That unfortunately has been the universal standard of beauty and it is very difficult for some people to unlearn it."
She added that she was hoping her participation in the Miss Universe pageant would "shatter whatever misconception and stereotypes people have of beauty."
Meanwhile social media has been abuzz with praises and congratulatory messages since the crowning of Tunzi as Miss Universe. Ordinary South Africans and the country's celebrities such as Bonang Matheba and Trevor Noah have expressed their elation for the victory which is as much for Tunzi as it is for the whole country and continent.
Tunzi is the third South African to win the title of Miss Universe, and the first black woman since Angola's Leila Lopes, who was crowned Miss Universe in 2011. Former Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe in 2017. Margaret Gardiner was the first South African to be crowned Miss Universe in 1978.