HOMECOMING TOUR A ROARING SUCCESS
Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, returned to South Africa in early February, her first official visit home since she was crowned in Atlanta Georgia, in December 2019. Her homecoming tour was a roaring success as she received a tumultuous welcome wherever she went with fans turning out in the thousands to welcome her home and acknowledge her triumph.
ZOZI: "IT WAS LIKE BEING IN A WONDERFUL DREAM"
The highlight of her homecoming tour was being the personal guest of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who singled her for a mention in his State of the Nation address where he called her “inspirational”. Zozi, exquisitely clad in an acid yellow gown, graciously put her hands together and bowed her head as Parliamentarians applauded.
When Zozi returned to the area where she grew up in the Eastern Cape, the small towns of Tsolo and Idutywa, “her people” – family, members of the community and wellwishers – came out in force to honour her. Thousands of supporters followed the specially designed float that carried her from Mthatha to her village, singing, ululating and chanting her name. Her family, dressed in traditional Xhosa garb, glowed with pride as members of the community came to pay their respects.
Young artists Lwando Hlazo and Azola Ntlantsana covered the Tsolo library wall with a mural depicting Zozi in a rural scene.
At her old school, Canaan Academy, she was saluted with poetry and had songs, composed especially for her, sung by village children.
Her class friends who shared desks with her in their Grade One year arrived to surprise her.
All through it, Zozi remained in good spirits, telling journalists and television commentators about her campaign to fight gender-based violence.
She also shared her delight and joy at the “astonishing” reception she had received from South Africans, and told of her gratitude for having the public platform to make her voice heard.
One of the most memorable aspects of the Homecoming Tour was a ride through the streets of Johannesburg on an open top red bus. Residents thronged the streets, waving South African flags and screaming her name as she made her way through the city.
In Cape Town, there was a carnival atmosphere during her city street ride-through. Zozi returned to New York where she will see out the remainder of her reign. She explained that the Homecoming Tour had been “the best week of my life.”