'She won for being ginormously kind': What the Miss Universe win means to SA's girls

Zozibini Tunzi  (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Zozibini Tunzi (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

People around the world have been singing the praises of our newly crowned Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, and Parent24 can certainly see why the beauty is fast becoming one of SA's most inspirational role models. 

She's the third South African woman and the first black woman since 2011 to win the title of Miss Universe, but Zozibini's journey to the crown was far from smooth. 

She entered the Miss South Africa competition for the first time in 2017, where she made it to the semi-finals.

But 2019 was definitely her year, as she won both the Miss South Africa title and then the Miss Universe title, making good on her belief on the importance of claiming space.

Teaching leadership

In her acceptance speech, she said that the most important thing we should be teaching our girls is leadership.

"Nothing is as important than taking up space in society, and cementing yourself," she said, no doubt inspiring a whole new generation of young women to step up and be heard. 

Photo: Getty Images

Zozibini said it best and I agree with her wholeheartedly.

South African girls, and even women like myself, now have another role model they can look up to. One who does not only "talk that talk", but also walks it and in more ways than one.

Change the course of a child’s life

"I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me – with my kind of skin and my kind of hair – was never considered to be beautiful," Zozibini told the crowd before she was crowned, "and I think that it is time that that stops."

"I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine."

Little Kira is an excellent example of what Zozibini winning Miss Universe means to South African girls.

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