Miss Universe 2019 held it's grand finale at the Tyler Perry Studios, Atlanta Georgia and Miss South Africa clinched the crown.
It was nothing short of a historic moment for Zozibini Tunzi as the South African model was crowned Miss Universe 2019 in Atlanta on Sunday, December 8. For her, it is a momentous win because she is the third woman and the first black woman from South Africa to win the Miss Universe title.
Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe Sunday night after excelling through rounds of swimsuit and evening gown struts and questions on social issues.
Here's everything you need to know about the ground-breaking Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi.
Tunzi was born in Tsolo, Eastern Cape to parents Philiswa Nadapu and Lungisa Tunzi on September 18, 1993. She was raised in the nearby village of Sidwadweni. Her mother, Philiswa Tunzi Nadopu is a school principal in an Eastern Cape village called Bolotw while 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).
Tunzi moved to Cape Town, settling in the Gardens suburb, to attend the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in public relations and image management in 2018 at the time she won Miss South Africa. She had previously graduated with an ND Public Relations Management at the same institution.
Prior to winning Miss South Africa, she worked as a graduate intern in the public relations department of Ogilvy Cape.
The new Miss Universe began her pageantry career in 2017 when she was accepted as one of the top 26 semifinalists of Miss South Africa 2017. Although she was not selected as one of the twelve finalists. but she returned to pageantry to compete in the Miss South Africa 2019 competition. Off the initial applications, Tunzi was selected to continue as one of the top 35 semifinalists after being confirmed as one on June 26, 2019. After further auditions, she was announced as one of the sixteen finalists on July 11.
After being selected as one of the finalists, Tunzi went on to compete in the Miss South Africa 2019 competition in Pretoria in August. She progressed through the stages of the final, advancing to the top five, and finally was crowned the winner. Following her win, Tunzi received prizes including R1 million, a new car, and a fully furnished apartment in the Sandton neighborhood of Johannesburg, which is valued at R5 million throughout her reign. The achievement allowed her to represent South Africa at the Miss Universe 2019 competition.
Before competing at Miss Universe 2019, she has featured in covers of Magazine, runway shows and promotional adverts for several national and international brands.
Tunzi competed in the preliminary competition on December 6 and competed in the finals on December 8 at Tyler Perry Studios. During the competition, the 26-year-old model advanced to the top twenty as the first semifinalist for the Africa/Asia-Pacific continental region. She then advanced to the top five, and ultimately the final three.
By the end of the event, she was crowned Miss Universe 2019 by outgoing titleholder Catriona Gray of the Philippines, followed by the first runner-up Madison Anderson of Puerto Rico and second runner-up, Sofía Aragón of Mexico. Tunzi's win is South Africa's third Miss Universe crown and the first black woman to win the Miss Universe title since Leila Lopes was crowned Miss Universe 2011. She's also the first to do so with an afro-textured hair.
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 behavior.
She has devoted her social media campaign to changing the narrative around gender stereotypes. In November, the 26-year-old asked South African men to write love letters to women to help form part of her National costume section at the Miss Universe pageant. She launched her support to promote the UN’s #HeForShe campaign.