Media mogul Basetsana Kumalo has responded to the outrage on social media after an old video of her interview with Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi resurfaced. Kumalo was accused of being rude and condescending, among other things, after telling Tunzi to call her Mama B as she was “probably as old as” her mother.
She trended the whole day on Wednesday.
In a statement, Kumalo expressed disappointment at the social media comments, and said she wished we could all celebrate Tunzi’s success without tainting it with unnecessary outrage.
Explaining her attitude towards Tunzi in the interview, Kumalo said: “I am very disappointed by the response my interview with Zozibini Tunzi on Afternoon Express has been generating. During the interview, I was tasked with pushing the Presenter Search on 3 contestants out of their comfort zone, as is the nature of the show, and see how quickly they think on their feet and think when they’re under pressure.
“We, as the interviewees, were briefed to put the finalist through their paces and that’s exactly what I did with Zozi.
“Signing up to be part of the reality show, the hopefuls know that they are going to be pushed and challenged and essentially grow into seasoned presenters because of the experience. ”
To those who falsely accused her of being jealous of Tunzi’s achievements, Kumalo said she was, in fact, a “huge supporter” of the beauty queen.
“I mentor young people and have done so for over two decades. I have seen many rise to their fullest potential in different industries.
“Seeing Zozibini wear the well-deserved Miss Universe crown is a moment we all should be celebrating and applauding. Zozi has redefined the ideals of beauty in pageantry, has broken the mould and re-written history. She has affirmed that black children’s dreams are valid.
“I am a huge supporter of Zozi and have nothing but praise for the woman she is and all she has achieved. It would be wonderful if as a country we could allow her to shine instead of trying to fuel negative stories.”
Watch the interview below: