Miss SA 2019
Zozi Tunzi

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi biography

Zozibini Tunzi (26) – from Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape – was crowned Miss South Africa 2019 on Friday, August 9, which just happened to be Women’s Day in South Africa.

At the time of winning the title, Zozi was completing her B-Tech in PR at Cape Peninsula University of Technology while working fulltime in an undergraduate programme at Ogilvy Cape Town. She had previously graduated with a ND Public Relations Management at the same institution.

In December, 2019, Zozi will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe Pageant being held in Atlanta in the United States.

#HeForShe Campaign

As part of her year of reign, Zozi will join in the global fight against gender-based violence and throw her weight behind the United Nations #heforshe solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality. Through #heforshe, Zozi’s goal is to achieve equality by encouraging both genders to partake as agents of change, and therefore fight against negative stereotypes. She has invited South African men to join her in an online campaign that publicly supports the women of this country.

Zozi wants the men of this country to follow in the moral and ethical footsteps of her role models, Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, both of whom where committed to human dignity, and gender equality. Her message to men of South Africa, and the world: Be better. Do better.

IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY

For Zozi, family is is the most important part of her life: “I once read that a child chooses their parents. If that is true, my family is the best decision I have made in my life so far. Everything else could be falling apart but they remain the constant centre of my joy.”

Her mother Philiswa Tunzi Nadopu is a school principal at Bangweni JSS, a school in a village called Bolotwa in the Eastern Cape. Her father Lungisa Tunzi works in Pretoria at the Department of Higher Education and Training. She has three sisters: Yanga (30), Sibabalwe (24) and Ayakha (13).

“My dad is the greatest father in the whole world; he probably knows the names of all previous title holders of this pageant, probably even more than I do because he shows interest and invests time in everything his daughters love.”

She had previously entered the Miss South Africa competition in 2017 and was a semi-finalist.

FOOD AND FUN

Zozibini is a hardcore Marvel fans and enjoys the the DC comic Wonder Woman; she’s a pretty good singer although she doesn’t sing publicly and she enjoys nothing more than Umngqusho (pronounced “oom-nqoo-shoh” which is made from stamp mielies and sugar beans) and a beef stew.

INSPIRING NATURALNESS

It is Zozi’s desire to inspire people, whether it’s making them feel good about embracing their naturalness in all forms – she wears her natural hair and believes that it should be an option for African women, should they wish to choose it – or celebrating the freedom from labels and preconceived norms.

Says Zozi: “The first misconception people have about beauty queens is that they have no depth, which is why they don’t find relevance in beauty pageants. This is far from the truth.

“Through pageants I’ve met inspirational women from different backgrounds doing amazing things for themselves and their communities.

“Looking at past Miss SA contestants, we see that brilliant minds have grace the stage. Beauty pageants in 2019 are more than just outer beauty, they are about what an individual can offer to the world. They are about being impactful, being an empowered woman who can empower other women. That can never be irrelevant.”

 “I came into this competition with my natural hair as a symbol of my firm belief in fair representation of any shape and form. And so, through my win, I hope I have inspired people, even if just one person to be themselves at all times and to never compromise their identities, and to insert themselves in spaces where they feel that people like them do not belong.”

FUN FACTS ABOUT MISS SA 2019

  • She was born in Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape on September 18, 1992 into a family of educators – her mother Philiswa Tunzi Nadopu is a school principal in an Eastern Cape village called Bolotwa; her father Lungisa Tunzi works at the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria.
  • She is the second of four girls (Yanga, 30, Sibabalwe, 24, and Ayakha, 13) and jokes that she entered the Miss South Africa competition to prove she was the most beautiful Tunzi sister.
  • She was crowned Miss South Africa 2019 on Friday, August 9, which just happened to be Women’s Day in South Africa. At the time of winning the title, Zozi was completing her B-Tech in PR at Cape Peninsula University of Technology while working fulltime in an undergraduate programme at Ogilvy Cape Town. She had previously graduated with a ND Public Relations Management at the same institution.
  • She has chosen to celebrate and embrace her naturalness
  • She is determined to dispel the myth that beauty queens have no depth. “Beauty pageants in 2019 are more than just outer beauty, they are about what an individual can offer to the world. They are about being impactful, being an empowered woman who can empower other women as well. That can never be irrelevant.”
  • Zozi is using her platform to change the narrative around gender based violence. She believes it’s time to lay the responsibility at the door of perpetrators, and will use her year of reign working towards making them aware that they have to change their behaviour.
  • She is inspired by the likes of Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and those of their calibre.
  • Zozibini is a hardcore Marvel fan and enjoys the the DC comic Wonder Woman.
  • She describes herself as a pretty good singer although she doesn’t sing publicly.She’s terrified of heights (acrophobia) and holes (trypophibia).
  • Her favourite food is Umngqusho (pronounced “oom-nqoo-shoh” which is made from stamp mielies and sugar beans) and a beef stew.
  • She has made it her mission to make men accountable for their behaviour and has thrown her weight behind a UN inspired campaign to foster gender equality and end gender-based violence, #HeForShe.
  • She will represent South Africa at Miss Universe 2019.

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