Kaunda Selisho

By Kaunda Selisho


Zozi speaks out after the passing of her former roommate

Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA pageant in 2019, the same year that Zozi Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe, and they lived together in New York. 

The last few hours have proven to be a tough time for Zozibini Tunzi who found out about the passing of her former roommate in the news. 

Following up on reports of a woman jumping from the 29th floor of a Midtown apartment building in New York, the NY Post later confirmed the identity of the woman to be Cheslie Kryst.

Kryst won the Miss USA pageant in 2019, the same year that Zozi was crowned Miss Universe, and the pair went on to live together in Midtown New York. 

Zozi Tunzi and Chelsie Kryst
Zozi Tunzi and Cheslie Kryst | Picture: Instagram

Cheslie, a qualified lawyer, was 30 years old at the time of her passing. She worked as a reporter for American entertainment news channel ExtraTV.

According to various reports, she jumped from her apartment in the luxury 60-story Orion building and was found dead in the street below.

The NY Post further reported that Cheslie left behind a note saying she wanted to leave everything to her mother and that her note didn’t include reasons for why she chose to end her life.

A few hours before she died, Cheslie posted a photo of herself on Instagram with the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”

Taking to Instagram in the wake of her passing, her former roommate Zozi shared how she was feeling after hearing that Cheslie had passed away. 

“Cheslie my friend, I am devastated. I didn’t sleep a wink, caught in between not believing the news and trying to make sense of what is happening. You were supposed to send me photos of the outfit you were going to wear to a wedding this past Saturday and all the details that happened at the event. You took me by surprise Queen. I am not ready for a world you don’t exist in,” wrote the fellow pageant queen. 

“I hope you are resting easy now love. You meant everything to so many people and you forever will. You made a mark in this world and touched so many lives. We celebrate your life. I love you so, so much my forever friend and forever Miss USA,” concluded Zozi. 

Various reports cite Cheslie as an advocate for mental health and she often shared her coping mechanisms on social media, which included seeing a counsellor, switching off her phone and re-watching her favourite movies during her quiet time. 

Zozi and Chelsie
Zozi Tunzi, Cheslie Kryst and a friend | Picture: Instagram

If you need someone to talk to, you can reach out to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) at 0800 567 567, 011 262 6396 or at sadag.org. You can also send an ​​SMS to 31393.

Alternatively, you can send a WhatsApp message to 076 882 2775. 

Read more on these topics

depression mental health Miss Universe suicide