This was not the first time winner Zozibini Tunzi has vied for the Miss SA crown
It was second time lucky for Zozibini Tunzi on Friday when she was crowned Miss SA 2019 at the pageant's spectacular finale in Pretoria. The 25-year-old from the Eastern Cape had vied for the prestigious title in 2017, but only made it to the semi finals.
When Tunzi was knocked out of the 2017 competition, she wrote a heartfelt message to her supporters on Facebook, particularly addressing those from her home province.
"This was big for us, for our province, for our little beautiful villages. Yes, I do realise that this became more than just about me," she said.
"Some of the judges pulled me aside and told me I was absolutely outstanding throughout my journey, I stood there, looked at them and thought "then why am I not in the top 12?' Then again I thought to myself 'God's timing is perfect. He is never early, he is never late, he is always on time.'"
She added, "I sit here patiently, rest assured that what is mine will find me and surely then his will will be done."
Now it seems it is the right time for Tunzi to shine. Along with the coveted Miss SA title, she walks away with prizes worth R3m, including R1m in cash, a new Mercedes Benz, and a fully-furnished apartment in Sandton to live in for the year of her reign.
When asked what's changed since she entered the 2017 competition, she told IOL, "I'm a different person now. Back then, I didn't know myself that much, but now I came back stronger with a bigger purpose".
Another thing that's changed is the beauty queen's hair. Back then she had flowing faux locks, now her look is all natural — something which has garnered much praise on social media.
Tunzi's initial reaction to winning the crown was one of disbelief, but now reality has sunk in.
In her first Instagram post as our official Miss SA, she writes: "I've dreamt about it so many times but the reality of it all is much greater. So many great Queens have come before me and I hope I continue the streak of amazing women who have contributed so much to society. So here sits the crown, beautifully so on my kinky coarse hair. I hope I make South Africa proud."