Cape Town – She's home!
Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, arrived at O.R. Tambo Internation Airport on Saturday to a warm welcome as she made an impassioned first speech.
"I have been feeling the love of South Africans," she said, to a crowd of young girls screaming her name."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'," she said.
"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."
The Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa also made a poignant speech at the airport on Saturday, addressing Zozi and the crowd.
"Her crown, is our crown, isn't it? So we are all Miss Universe," she said.
"Thank you for making us so proud," she told Zozi. "Thank you for giving us something to brag about. Thank you for making us proud of ourselves. Thank you for making that you girl out there actually believe in herself and know that it can be done."
Zozi later made her way to her hometown in the Eastern Cape where she stood proud atop her homecoming float, beautifully designed by Henderson works, waving to her adoring fans.
Many fans shared photos and video of Zozi's arrival.
"The streets of the Mthatha are abuzz. Zozi is home!" commented one user on Twitter.
SEE ZOZI'S ARRIVAL IN THE EASTERN CAPE HERE:
It was touching to see words of wisdom and love being shared with our beloved @MissUniverse this evening. Her hometown is overjoyed to have her! Stay tuned to our social pages for more updates tomorrow @CommsZA @ArtsCultureSA @GoToSouthAfrica #ZoziComesHome #MeetSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/VYEYspTPAn— Miss South Africa (@Official_MissSA) February 8, 2020
On Sunday at 11:00, Zozi will be at Mthatha Stadium for her main hometown event, after which she'll reveal a mural which has been created in her honour before attending a lunch where she will be "entertained with traditional dancing".
On Monday 10 February she will visit her former primary school before making her way to Johannesburg for a street parade on Thursday, 13 February and leaving that same day for Cape Town.