By Inday Chikadora | 11:48 AM December 09, 2019
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray turns over her crown to Zozibini Zozibini. Screenshot from Miss Universe pageant

The new Miss Universe is Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi.

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray turned over her crown to Zozibini at the 68th edition of the pageant held in Atlanta on December 9, Monday.

The 26-year old is from Tsolo, South Africa. Her Miss Universe bio describes as her as a “passionate activist” who is “engaged in the fight against gender based violence.

“She has devoted her social media campaign to changing the narrative around gender stereotypes. She is a proud advocate for natural beauty and encourages women to love themselves the way they are,” her biography notes.

Zozibini Tunzi. Photo from Tunzi FB

Her role models are her parents and Caster Semenya, whom she’d love to meet. Zozibini is a hard-core Marvel fan, was a Game of Thrones addict and enjoys eating out.

Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson is first runner-up followed by Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon as second runner-up.

She was given a new crown called “Power in Unity” inspired by nature, strength, beauty, femininity, and unity made by jewelry house Mouawad.

During their Final Word, all three women were asked the same question which was, “What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?”

Her winning answer was:

The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. 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 labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that’s what we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. There is nothing more important than to take up space in the society.

Before the announcement of winners, all three of them were given a chance to grace the stage and say their final speech.

Zozibini said, “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair is never considered to be beautiful and I think that it is time that stops. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Philippine bet Gazini Ganados ended her Miss Universe 2019 stint, as one of the Top 20, after failing to make it to the Top 10.

Zozibini is the third beauty queen from South Africa to win Miss Universe after Demi-Leigh Nel Peters (2017) and Margaret Gardiner (1978).

Zozibini Tunzi. Photo from Tunzi FB

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