Zozibini Tunzi is ready to take on the universe: 'I'm quite excited to showcase what we've been working on'

Zozibini Tunzi (Photo: Willem Botha)
Zozibini Tunzi (Photo: Willem Botha)

Johannesburg – Zozibini is prepped and ready for the Miss Universe stage. The beauty queen revealed her national costume as well as her evening gown for the competition at an exclusive event on Friday.  

Speaking to Channel24 about her costume, called the "Wave of Love", Zozibini laughed as she told us that it was "much heavier" than she expected it to be. 

The dress includes pieces of ribbon with messages of love and support from the men of South Africa. Zozibini requested the notes as a way for men to have their say and stand up against gender-based violence. 

"I loved it (the dress) mostly because of the messages that it carries. I honestly feel like I would have loved it no matter how it looks because I'm attached to it because of the message," she said. 

While showing off her evening gown on the stage, Zozibini became emotional as her family cheered her on. The 26-year-old says they have been by her side supporting her since day one. 

Taking some time to chat to us after the event, Zozi's parents had one message in common – for their daughter to remain true to herself on the Miss Universe stage. 

"We don't want her to change, she must remain positive, and she must also listen to the voices of the nation. Thirdly, to put God first. There is nothing that one can do without putting God first, cause that is our belief," her father, Lungisa Tunzi, told us. 

And Zozibini feels the same way. "I haven't really felt any pressure," she says, adding:  "I think I've been more excited than anything. I've just told myself that I'm going to be 100 percent me and whatever happens, happens."

Even though she really wants to bring home that crown, to her, just making it to the Miss Universe stage is a great achievement and a lesson for the women of South Africa that anything is possible. 

As for how she has prepared to take on the Miss Universe stage, she says while she has focused on her interview skills, fitness, hair and make-up with coach Werner Wessels, it's mostly a "mental and physical" game.  "I'm quite excited to showcase what we've been working on," she says.

Miss Universe 2019 will be crowned on 8 December in Atlanta, USA. South Africans can tune into the pageant live on 9 December at 02:00 on 1 Magic (DStv 103).