‘Women with my skin are not considered beautiful’ – says South African who won Miss Universe 2019

December 09, 2019 at 01:00 pm | Faces of Black Excellence

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

December 09, 2019 at 01:00 pm | Faces of Black Excellence

“One day is one day,” Zozibini Tunzi wrote on May 5, 2012, and attached a picture of a former Miss World winner being crowned in a Facebook post.

Fast forward, the 26-year-old South African has landed her hand on an international beauty pageant title albeit not what she prophesied. 

Tunzi was on Sunday crowned Miss Universe 2019.

From an academic family of a mother, who is a school principal in a junior secondary school and a father, who works at the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria – Tunzi is the third South African to win the Miss Universe pageant, but the first black South African. Margaret Gardiner was the first in 1978, followed by Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in 2017.

Image result for miss universe 2019
Picture: Hollywood Life

Twice Miss South Africa contestant, going all the way to the semi-finals in 2017 and winning in 2019, Tunzi’s Sunday’s triumph makes her an immediate millionaire.

Some of her prizes as Miss Universe include a year-long salary thought to be worth more than $100 000 (around R1,475 million), a luxury apartment in New York City, a modeling portfolio by some of the best fashion photographers as well as free dental services, skincare consultations and the services of professional nutritionists, reports Sowetan Live.

Tunzi triumphed to the crown out of some 90 contestants with Madison Anderson, Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon as the two runners up.

Before being crowned Tunzi said: “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, and I think it is time that 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.”

Image result for miss universe 2019
Picture: BBC

Answering questions from a range of topics including climate change, protest and social, Tunzi was asked in her final question what young girls should be taught today.

And her answer blew the audience, adding an extra dimension to the answers given by the other finalists.

“I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It is something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a long time. 

“Not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity. 

“That is what we should be teaching these young girls. To take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself,” she told host Steve Harvey.

Tunzi is the first black woman to win the competition since Leila Lopes in 2011.

The Angolan former winner congratulated her in a post on Instagram, writing: “Congrats girl you did us very proud.”

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