MISS SA Zozibini Tunzi is crowned Miss Universe by her predecessor, Catriona Gray of the Philippines. Picture: Reuters
MISS SA Zozibini Tunzi is crowned Miss Universe by her predecessor, Catriona Gray of the Philippines. Picture: Reuters

WATCH: Zozibini Tunzi chats to Trevor Noah about natural hair, racism and staying true to herself

By Entertainment reporter Time of article published Dec 18, 2019

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Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi is living the dream, and we're here for it. The third South African woman to win the tittle of Miss Universe, Tunzi is hot property right now. It was only a matter of time till Trevor Noah snatched her as one of his guests on 'The Daily Show.'

Dressed in a sparkly mini dress and wearing her Miss Universe tiara, Tunzi was greeted with cheers as she walked into the studio. The two greeted each other like old friends, and even joked about Tunzi coming every night.

"Miss Universe. Has it sunk in yet?" asked Noah as she settled in. "I don't think so. It's been almost a week now, and I'm getting used to it," said a radiant Tunzi.

On her journey to becoming Miss SA, she said it's been a challenge. "I had a look that people were not used to. And so I got crowned and I got a lot of different responses. But I was quite excited about it, regardless of what was happening."

When asked to elaborate on the responses, Tunzi said when she first won, she got lots of comments where people said 'oh, is this the one this year? She's so underwhelming.'

"I got comments like 'she's a downgrade from the others that we've had'. And then it got more international when people found out I was going to do Miss Universe," she added.

Tunzi also recalled comments she got on social media, with one user referring to her as "this black ugly South African."

"It was in that moment where I thought I'm not even mad because it's just how society has labelled beauty to be. It's how we've been programmed to look at beauty that way," she iterated.

This called her into action to speak more about colourism and racism. 

Noah then brought up Tunzi's natural hair and praised the beauty queen for proudly winning both beauty pageants with her natural hair, prompting the studio audience to applause.

"That's what people initially wanted you to change," said Noah. "That must have been a challenge. Why didn't you straighten your hair? Why didn't you wear a weave?"

Tunzi responded: "Because this is my hair. I don't think anyone tells people to put on a weave, so why should I? Some people asked 'was this a strategy?' To what? To wake up and be myself?" joked the Eastern Cape-born beauty.

The two also spoke about the causes that Tunzi is passionate about, including gender-based violence.


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