Zozibini Tunzi is a true beautiful and empowering force to be reckoned with. From a wonderful sense of humour and kind heart, to being a figure of activism and the longest reigning Miss Universe, there are so many reasons we are in awe of our former Miss South Africa. Here are some of them.
About Zozi’s life:
Born into a life where education was paramount
- Zozi’s origins are from the Eastern Cape. She was born in Tsolo, eSdwadweni to an education-industry focused family, with both her parents working in education (News24).
- Zozi actually entered Miss SA in 2017, but did not take home the crown. However, she picked herself up and tried again in 2019, and it goes without saying that we’re very glad she tried again.
Humour secured her ticket
- According to Liesl Laurie, a regional judge at the 2019 Miss SA, it was Zozi’s humour that stood out the most when picking contestants for Miss SA.
Studies to change the world
- Zozi has a National Diploma in Public Relations management and was completing her Btech when she won Miss SA in 2019 as per MissSA.
Zozi’s advocation for saying no to beauty standards, especially Western beauty standards
- Zozi shone powerfully to the world, the beauty industry and South Africa for embracing herself exactly as she was. She wanted to compete with her natural hair, despite being told by a lot of people that she should reconsider, as per Allure.
- She wanted people, especially younger girls who are constantly influenced by what beauty should look like in media and social media, to know you will do great things just as you are, no conforming necessary.
- “May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine,” Zozi famously said.
- Zozi also said beautifully that “My Miss Universe wins are my Ancestors Wildest dreams.” This was her acknowledging the racial struggles black people have faced for centuries, and showing that she is living proof that an African queen could not only take the world by storm, but also be one of the most beloved and admired queens there ever was.
- Zozi is a strong proponent of the fight against gender-based violence. Coming from a country which in 2020 classed GBV as a second pandemic, it has been a cause very close to Zozi’s heart.
- In the reveal of her Miss SA national costume, Zozi even integrated this cause into her gown. As part of the #HeForShe initiative (a campaign developed by the United Nations Women to implore men to to act as forces for change toward gender-equality) Zozi made a request of men in South Africa. She asked South African men to support the cause through writing love letters to South African women. “Those letters will be inscribed on to ribbons of fabric which will, in turn, form part of my national costume.. I will wear a wave of love from men in the form of love letters celebrating and honouring the women of this country,” said Zozi.
- This was with aim to shift the perception of responsibility for gender-equality from a women-focused movement to a movement where men support women.
- Zozi was the first black, South African Miss Universe in history.
- She went on to reign for two years, making her the longest reigning title holder.
- She loves her fans, and shows it in wonderful ways. Zozi would serenade her fans with inspirational songs (News24).
Girls support girls
After Miss SA 2020, Shudufhadzo Musida experienced cyberbullying and comparison after comparison to Zozi, Zozi stepped in.
“Keep making everyone proud. We love you Miss SA. It’s your time, it’s your season,” a Twitter post from Zozi wrote.
Coming from the pageantry world where women are often made out to be against each other behind false smiles, this message openly displayed Zozi’s kindness and support for other women.
The effect of her Reign
On Twitter, before this year’s Miss Universe reveal, Zozi started trending on Twitter. This is because so many people were so sad to see her go. Many stated that she will always be their Miss Universe.
— MALOME N’ORTHEN… (@KG_NORTHERN) May 17, 2021
— #NatashaForMissUniverse (@moe_suttle) May 16, 2021
I don’t know about you guys but Zozitunzi will forever be my Miss Universe 👑❤️ pic.twitter.com/pjAMSapedy
— 💀 (@__greyyyy) May 16, 2021
You will forever be our Miss Universe 😍👑 from you we learnt that we should take up space and cement ourselves, to look at you and see our faces reflected in yours ! 🥺😍❤️ @zozitunzi #MissUniverse #MissUniverseSouthAfrica #ZozibiniTunzi #Zozi pic.twitter.com/0DAxJ1RuFR
— Luciaaa 😊 (@luciia_sa) May 17, 2021
@zozitunzi you have reigned supreme and the whole Universe has felt the mark you left when you inspired us to take up Space!
— Miss South Africa (@Official_MissSA) May 16, 2021
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