WATCH | ‘My ancestors’ wildest dream come true’: Zozi Tunzi’s final moments as Miss Universe

17 May 2021 - 06:51 By Toni Jaye Singer
Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi onstage at the Miss Universe pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 16 2021 in Hollywood, Florida.
Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi onstage at the Miss Universe pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 16 2021 in Hollywood, Florida.
Image: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

Wearing a striking beaded gown and coordinated head wrap, Zozibini Tunzi looked every inch SA’s queen when she took her final walk on stage as the reigning Miss Universe during the pageant’s finale in Hollywood, Florida, on Sunday.

Tunzi may have handed over her crown to this year’s winner, Andrea Meza of Mexico, but as the Miss SA Organisation tweeted, she will “forever be the landlord of the universe in our eyes”.

“From the moment I won, I knew my reign would be different, but I never imagined it would be during a global pandemic,” said Tunzi who, having clinched the title in 2019, went on to set the record as the longest-reigning Miss Universe.

Ever pragmatic, Tunzi pointed out in her final statement that Covid-19 lockdowns meant the world had gone virtual, giving her the opportunity to touch twice as many lives.

Using the online #UniverseUnited platform, she was able to “lend her voice” to causes including the fights for race and gender equality, and to “amplify the black lives matter message and have conversations to help end systemic racism”.

WATCH | Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi crowns her successor, Andrea Meza from Mexico, at the 69th Miss Universe pageant.

“My Miss Universe win is my ancestors’ wildest dream,” Tunzi said.

“We are now in a world where a black African girl from a country that is only 27 years into democracy can represent them on the global stage. I want to honour them for fighting for my freedoms so I could be where I am today.”

She thanked her family and SA before concluding: “I’m proud to know I did my best to make a difference, cementing a footprint for others to follow in the future.”

Tunzi’s fans were quick to celebrate her on social media. One user said her impact has “no expiration date”, while another said “You'll forever be my Miss Universe”.

 Here’s a snapshot of the reactions:


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