Zozibini Tunzi was crowned as Miss Universe 2019 beating Puerto Rico’s Madison Anderson and Mexico’s Sofia Aragon in the final three to take home the tiara and winning hearts worldwide.

More than 90 women from across the world took part in the pageant which was held in Atlanta in the US and finalists in the competition were asked a range of questions on topics such as climate change, protest and social media.

Tunzi, who is the third South African woman to win the pageant, addressed the judges and audience in a strong and heartfelt way while talking about her journey, and during the final question-answer round. In her final question, 26-year-old Zozibini, who became Miss South Africa in August, was asked what we should be teaching young girls today.

Her answer was leadership and it struck the right chord among the panel, audience and people all over. “It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time – not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world, and that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space,” she confidently spoke up.
of South Africa, waves onstage at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant at Tyler Perry Studios on December 08, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)[/caption]

Zozibini is the first black woman to win the competition since Leila Lopes in 2011.
She has been described as a proud advocate of natural beauty, a passionate activist engaged in the fight against gender based violence. The hashtag #MissUniverse was trending on Twitter and she got a shout-out from Oprah Winfrey. She’ll also fly around the world for media and modelling opportunities.

Miss Universe and other beauty pageants have come under the scanner – with some people questioning whether they have a place in today’s society. But looks like the deserving Tunzi is upholding the crown, the right way!