If you don’t leave under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about Zozibini Tunzi, the South African black beauty with short Afro hair who bagged the 68th Miss Universe crown on December 8, 2019.
When she won the beauty pageant, held at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. The majority of people were shocked just based on the fact that a woman with short 4C natural afro hair beat 90 women from across the world who took part in the beauty show to be crowned queen.
Zozibini during an interview revealed that she seriously thought about it before chopping off her hair. She felt nervous and was scared of what people would think when she didn’t look like the women on television or inside the pages of a glossy fashion magazine, but she went ahead anyway. Talking about how she got here, Zozibini said she grew up in a world where a woman who looks like her, with her kind of skin and her kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful.
The latest Miss Universe was born on the 18 September 1993. She is the third woman from South Africa to win the title, and the first black woman since Leila Lopes was crowned Miss Universe in 2011. Before this, Zozi as popularly known was crowned Miss South Africa 2019. If you look through the winners of Miss Universe from the past few decades, you will notice a common trend. The winner’s hair, whether blond or brunette, red or black, their locks are always very long and shiny.
Times are changing, and it seems like the world is beginning to recognise women with a different kind of beauty other than what we see on television and glossy magazines. Not only that, women who are intelligent, smart and outspoken are also being recognised instead of focusing just on their beauty. Zozibini is being praised for her advocacy for natural beauty. She reminds millions of women who look like her that they’re beautiful and can make it in whatever they put their mind into.
The beauty queen decided to cut her hair and dump all her wigs in the bin after her 2017 pageant experience in South Africa. She said got tired of keeping up with beauty and just wanted to be free, and it was so liberating. Zozi began her pageantry career professionally in 2017. She was accepted as one of the top 26 semifinalists for Miss South Africa 2017, unfortunately, she was not selected as one of the twelve finalists. She returned to pageantry to compete in Miss South Africa 2019 in June of the same year. She progressed through the stages of the final, advancing to the top ten, then top five, and finally the top two until she was crowned the winner.
The achievement allowed her to represent South Africa at the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Zozi Tunzi arrived in Atlanta, Georgia for Miss Universe 2019 in November. She competed in the preliminaries on 6 December and competed in the finals on 8 December. During the competition, Tunzi advanced to the top twenty as the first semifinalist for the Africa and Asia-Pacific continental region. She then proceeded to the top ten, then the top five, and ultimately the final three. In her final question, the 26-year-old queen was asked what we should be teaching young girls today.