Zozibini Tunzi 2.0: Beauty queen dishes on her foundation, dealing with racism and living in luxury

22 August 2022 - 14:00
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Zozibini Tunzi opens up about life after Miss Universe.
Zozibini Tunzi opens up about life after Miss Universe.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

It has been just over a year since Zozibini Tunzi passed on the Miss Universe crown and she is on a new mission to develop herself and others, casting aside discrimination to become a global powerhouse.

Tunzi was crowned Miss SA in August 2019, and a few months later won the Miss Universe title.

With it came a new type of scrutiny, and racism.

At first she “isolated” herself from the opinions of others, but over time learnt to not listen to what the haters have to say.

“I managed to look at that and ask myself, 'Why do people feel this way?' and reminded myself that they have never seen such a powerful black woman before. It's a good thing that I was in that space because it shows that it is possible. So when the next woman like me comes, they are more accepted,” she told Sunday Times.

The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with Tunzi's reign, leaving her attending global events remotely and extending her time as Miss Universe to the longest in history.

“The biggest lesson I learnt is that we are more alike than we are different. I met people from all walks of life and learnt how they live.

“I also learn that everything you need to succeed is already inside you. Today people might like you, and praise you, but those are the same people who may have the power tomorrow to drag you down. It taught me to be sure of myself and the path I am walking.”

She admits there were things she wished she had got to accomplish before her Miss SA reign was cut short.

“I had plans as Miss SA to do a lot of work with children and education in SA, and I was sad that I wasn't able to do that. Now I am back and looking forward to help make a difference through my foundation.”

The Zozibini Tunzi Foundation will be launching soon, with a focus on women, children and education.

Since returning home, Tunzi has found a home in the prestigious @Sandton Apartments. The complex, based near Sandton, has fully-furnished luxury residential and hotel units, a school, cigar lounge, club house, grocery store, restaurants and medical facilities. 

It's perfect for a homebody like Tunzi.

“Moving back from New York, I kind of struggled to find a home. Then I found this gem that is perfect. It has everything I need.”

She loves nothing more than to hit the spa at the complex after a busy day or week, and has also started going to the gym on site.

“Everything is so convenient. There is also a deli downstairs that has everything, and they bring it straight to your door.”

She is also branching out into music and acting.

Last year she revealed she had joined the cast of the star-studded American historical film The Woman King, alongside legendary American actress Viola Davis, John Boyega and SA's Thuso Mbedu.

“The acting thing did not even cross my mind until it came into my path. I am someone who lets things happen sometimes and sees what happens. This opportunity came and I thought 'Why not?'” 

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