WATCH | Zozibini Tunzi and activist Zulaikha Patel talk teaching the girl child & holding men accountable

18 June 2020 - 08:07
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Miss Universe and activist Zulaikha Patel had a frank conversation about activism and holding men accountable.
Image: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Miss Universe and activist Zulaikha Patel had a frank conversation about activism and holding men accountable.

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi is on a mission to use her reign and the doors it has opened for her to help address some of the inequalities faced by black people in SA.

In a recent Insta Live conversation with activist Zulaikha Patel, Tunzi said she wants to influence generations of young South Africans to become changemakers.

Patel launched her activism when she was just 13 years old by confronting Pretoria High School for Girls’ anti-Black hair policy in 2016.

Here are seven important quotes from the conversation.

Youth activism 

“It is so important for the youth to use their voices and be at the forefront of sociopolitical spaces because young people cannot have their futures determined by those who won’t be part of them.” — Patel.

Youth of 1976

“The youth of 1976 knew what they were doing back then when they risked their lives. They were doing it for us, as the youth of today, to pass on the baton. It’s our responsibility to make sure that they did not die in vain.” — Tunzi.

Issues of today

“As much as we have all this education now, we must understand that anti-blackness and racism exist within the pages of the textbooks because we are not seeing enough of ourselves and our cultures reflected within the pages of the education.” — Patel.

The girl child

“It's fair enough to educate the girl child with these philosophies but if the girl child does not see herself reflected within the pages of textbooks then we are not moving forward.” — Patel.

Gender-based violence

“In SA, we have this pattern where a woman is killed every year and there is an uproar that later goes down and more women are killed. We have protested, petitioned, and raised money but it’s obviously not enough. But for how long must women die in order for people to realise how serious [gender-based violence] is?” — Tunzi.

Not just a hashtag

“If we don’t put an end to the culture of toxic masculinity, we will continue to move backward, continue to have more and more girls become a hashtag, and another phrase —  ‘justice for’.” — Patel.

Holding men accountable 

“Men are not holding themselves accountable enough. Hashtags like ‘not all men’ are some examples of this. A pregnant woman was stabbed and they were tweeting ‘not all men' and tweeting about PS5s.” — Tunzi.