Basetsana sets the record straight on Zozibini archival interview: 'We were briefed to put the finalists through their paces'

Johannesburg – Basestana Kumalo found herself trending on social media on Wednesday when an old clip of herself being interviewed by current Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, during the Presenter Search on 3 competition in 2018, resurfaced. 

The interview was part of a challenge during the competition and saw Zozibini and another contestant put to the test as they chatted to Basetsana. 

Though when the video was picked up again on Wednesday, social media users were not impressed with the way Basetsana addressed Zozi – many of them claiming that she was rude or condescending. 


In a statement released to the press on Thursday, Basetsana said that she was "very disappointed by the response" the clip received. 

"During the interview, I was tasked with pushing the Presenter Search on 3 contestants out of their comfort zone, as is the nature of the show and see how quickly they think on their feet and think when they're under pressure," she explained. 

The statement goes on to say that the interviewees were "briefed to put the finalists through their paces."

"I mentor young people and have done so for over two decades. I have seen many rise to their fullest potential in different industries. Seeing Zozibini wear the well-deserved Miss Universe crown is a moment we all should be celebrating and applauding," she added, going on to say: "Zozi has redefined the ideals of beauty in pageantry, has broken the mould and re-written history. She has affirmed that black children's dreams are valid. I am a huge supporter of Zozi and have nothing but praise the for the woman she is and all she has achieved. It would be wonderful as a country we could allow her to shine instead of trying to fuel negative stories. We have so much to be positive about with all the incredible achievements of young role models in our country."

Compiled by Nikita Coetzee

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