Johannesburg – Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, was met with singing and loud cheers when she arrived in South Africa on Saturday.
The beauty queen is home for the first time since winning the international pageant in December and will be embarking on a tour which will see her visit the Eastern Cape, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.
Addressing the crowds at the airport on Saturday, Zozi thanked South Africans for their overwhelming support.
"I have been feeling the love of South Africans since I got crowned Miss South Africa, even before going to Miss Universe," she said. "Because of that, while I was walking on the Miss Universe stage, I knew that I was there as one body, but as I stood on that stage, I stood as millions of South Africans."
The 26-year-old was met with cheers when she explained what winning this title means for little girls who see themselves in her.
"Every time people ask me, 'Did you know that you would be Miss Universe?', my answer is, 'I didn't know that I would be Miss Universe because I didn't know it was possible for someone like me.' But now I confidently know, when you ask a young girl that looks like me, do they know that they can become Miss Universe, I know that they can say that they can."