Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
9 Dec 2021
1:35 pm

Longest-serving Miss Universe, Zozi Tunzi, celebrates two-year anniversary

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Zozi's Miss Universe reign has been the longest due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi. Picture: Instagram

Zozibini Tunzi has changed the face of pageantry after her iconic win as Miss South Africa in 2019 and now it’s been two years since she won Miss Universe.

Zozi’s Miss Universe reign has been the longest due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marking the anniversary on Wednesday, Zozi – as she is affectionately known – wrote that her reign as Miss Universe was purposeful.

“I’ve always known from a very young age that I wanted my life to count for something special that would be meaningful not only to/for myself but for others as well. I wanted to make a contribution, even if it’s just a small fraction to the universe. My heart swells with gratitude and pride whenever people from different spheres of life tell me that this win moved or touched their lives in some way because that is exactly what I hoped it would do.

ALSO READ: Miss SA Lalela Mswane to wear recycled gowns from predecessors

“I am so happy and humbled to form a part of a much needed magical shift in beauty, society and culture. A lot of work still needs to be done but I want to take a moment to thank those who came before us, those who are with us and the future generation for all the work that they have done and will continue to do in breaking these barriers and entering spaces that were not available to us before.

“We belong in every space we imagine ourselves in. Claim it!”

Zozi’s famous saying, “open up space”, quickly showed the following year in terms of how beauty standards were changed in the Miss South Africa organisation.

Shudufhadzo Musiḓa was crowned after her and was the first bald woman to win Miss SA.

“Thank you all for being by my side all of 525 days (yes I counted). Your continued love and support means the world to me. I cannot wait to write new chapters and open more doors with you all by my side still,” she concluded.

Current Miss SA Lalela Mswane is participating in Miss Universe in Israel and the pageant will take place on 13 December.

The national costume show and preliminary competition starts on 10 December and can be watched on the Miss Universe YouTube channel from 7pm.