Warm welcome for Zozi

2020-02-18 06:02
Miss Universe with members of the Cape Town Carnival.PHOTOS: KAYLYNNE BANTOM

Miss Universe with members of the Cape Town Carnival.PHOTOS: KAYLYNNE BANTOM

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She walks into the room with her shoulders back, poised, and gracefully waves to those close to her.

She offers a friendly smile and then takes her seat.

A room that was demarcated to host journalists, the city’s mayor and many others is filled.

It becomes quiet.

And then she speaks in a soft, yet stern voice and one can immediately see why she currently holds the Miss Universe title.

Zozibini Tunzi is the full package: beauty, brains and elegance.

And on Friday 14 February, Tunzi came to show some love to Cape Town.

Tunzi was on a week-long homecoming tour that included visits to Johannesburg, Mthatha and the two villages she grew up in, Tsolo and Dutywa. Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD) to greet and get a glimpse of reigning Miss Universe.

Tunzi and mayor, Dan Plato rode in a specially designed float swathed in ribbons and fitted out with a throne, modelled after her Miss Universe crown.

Tunzi says: “It is the most wonderful form of transport ever. And I should know, I’ve ridden on those New York horse drawn carriages that take you around Central Park!”

Keegan-Lee Croy, Miss Pre-Teen 2018 who hails from Hanover Park, was among the crowd of supporters and says she would like to follow in Tunzi’s footsteps.

“Zozibini is so natural and she inspires me to be myself, I am very proud of her.”

Miss Universe addressed the crowd standing next to the statue of former president Nelson Mandela on the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall.

She echoed her message of empowerment to women and victims of gender-based violence (GBV). Tunzi says: “I don’t want to be telling women to stand up and protect themselves, I want to tell men to try and do better. And I hope those who are currently in an abusive relationship find the strength to leave.”

She says educating young men on how to treat women as their equal is crucial to fight the scourge of GBV. The mayor shared Tunzi’s views and says: “Your impressive win on an international stage and your work to raise awareness about social issues such as gender-based violence has been an inspiration to many South Africans.”

Plato wished her well and praised her for the role she plays in educating the youth. Tunzi, who is an alumna of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), also received a special word of thanks from the university’s Prof Chris Nhlapo, the vice-chancellor.

Nhlapo says: “Tunzi you have made us proud and you have put our name on the world stage.”

Once all the festivities are done Tunzi says she wants to focus her attention on helping women and the youth. 

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