Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi is back in South Africa as she navigates her life outside pageantry.
In an interview with Azania Moseka on 702, Tunzi says she is grateful for the support she received throughout her reign. She said being Miss South Africa in 2019 required a “lot of mental work”, adding that what helped her was she knew herself.
Holding the record for the longest reign for a Miss Universe, she handed the crown to Miss Mexico Andrea Meza, Zozi says she cried the whole time during her final walkout.
After her crowning, Zozi had many plans to travel the world for the organisation and goals she wanted to do, but those changed because of the pandemic.
“It was so emotional doing that crowning and the walkout. I had been Miss Universe for a year and a half, it had become who I am. It feels like a closed chapter, there were so many emotions, it was bittersweet. Sweet because of new things and beginnings.”
With her return back home, Zozi says she visited her family and was a “home body”, as she hadn’t seen them for six months.
“I knew the first thing I wanted to do when I landed was to see them, to give thanks to the elders and ancestors.”
She said culture and prayer was very important to her, as she asked for guidance during her whole journey.
“Now we ready for the next chapter, whatever that is.” Zozi says she can’t say as yet what those plans are, as they are still in the works and with her contract obligations.
View this post on Instagram
The beauty queen has many talents, one of them includes her voice. When asked if that could be her next career move, Zozi says it wasn’t in her frame of mind until people said she should consider it.
“It is definitely one of the things that are in the works. Music and television are just some of the many things in the mix.”
As she lived in the US for more than a year, a permanent move to the States is also a possibility. She said the move is not out of the question “now” but it makes more sense to be in Africa with the plans she has.
Over the past few years, pageantry has involved being more diverse, more broad and meaningful. Zozi feels there still needs to be changes, but agrees that people who enter have used the platform to push agendas they find important.
She adds that the international pageant could evolve and be more inclusive in a couple of years – the possibilities are endless.
“Maybe we could have the first plus-size Miss Universe, first Miss Universe that is specially-abled. Ten years ago it wasn’t possible for me to win, with my natural hair. When I say so much needs to change, it is about inclusion and it is happening. ”