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One crown to rule them all: Zozibini Tunzi goes down as one of the most memorable Miss Universe title holders

Zozibini Tunzi has officially bowed out as Miss Universe, handing over her crown to Mexico's Andrea Meza. Photo: Instagram

Zozibini Tunzi has officially bowed out as Miss Universe, handing over her crown to Mexico's Andrea Meza. Photo: Instagram

Published May 18, 2021


Although her reign has come to an end, the world recognises Zozibini Tunzi as one of the best Miss Universe title holders they have seen.

The longest-reigning queen in the history of Miss Universe left a mark as she handed over the crown to her successor, Miss Mexico Andrea Meza.

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Taking to Instagram, the emotional Tunzi thanked her supporters for being with her throughout the journey. She also congratulated the new Miss Universe well.

She said: “I think you can tell from my face the overwhelming emotion that came over me as I walked on that stage a final time as a reigning Miss Universe. I am reminded every day that my journey wasn't just mine alone. With that said, I want to thank you all.

“Thank you for welcoming me into your hearts and walking side by side with me on this very important chapter of my life. Once again...May every child who witnessed this moment believe in the absolute power of their dreams.

“Mandibambe Ngazo Zozibini ❤🇿🇦 Congratulations to @andreamezamx and Mexico! I wish you all the best of luck on your reign. I hope you make the best of it❤❤.”

Tunzi wasn’t the only one who was emotional. Even the designers she’s worked with from her Miss South Africa days were touched.

Warrick Gautier, who has dressed Tunzi on several occasions, said: “ICONIC #missuniverse @zozitunzi You Have Reigned The Universe And Shifted Our Thinking. Your Strength And Kindness Throughout Your Challenging Reign Has Been Absolutely Remarkable! As You Now Handover @missuniverse Crown, We Wishing You All The Greatest Success For Your Future Journey. All The Very Best And Much Love Always From My Team And I.”

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Esther Swan, who has worked with Tunzi during her reign as Miss Universe, also wished her well. She said: “I watched as the Ancestors laid hands on you each day and guided you, gave you strength to tell your truth, showed you your destiny throughout this time. This is not goodbye, but ‘until’ – we see you, we hear you again. I got you! We got you! I will always be here to help hold you up on the path you were put here to walk on! Goodness and Greatness awaits you, Queen!”

Biji - La Maison, who created Tunzi’s gown for her last walk as Miss Universe also shared a heartfelt message for the supermodel.

She said: “We couldn’t be prouder than this! @zozitunzi you will be our forever Miss Universe Xhosa Queen...your compassion, purpose and message sends ripples of hope and inspiration to millions around the globe..... you are gorgeous and we LOVE YOU.

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“It was my greatest honour and privilege to know you and to have created your gowns for you xx. Looking forward to welcoming you home again.”

It’s going to take time to get used to the fact that Tunzi is no longer Miss Universe. Below are some of the best reactions from her supporters.