WINDHOEK – Africa and the world celebrated the victory of South African model, Zozibini Tunzi, who became the first black woman to bring the crown to Africa after Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes of Angola.
“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,” were some of the remarks the black beauty from the Xhosa tribe made before she was crowned Miss Universe 2019.
Tunzi did not only represent the South African community but also the entire African continent.
Social media was awash with congratulatory messages to the model with some claiming she had changed the perception of the term ‘beauty’ while others said one does not need to have long hair or white skin to win the crown.
American beauty pageant titleholder, motivational speaker, and captain in the United States Army Reserve, Deshauna Barber, was one of those who cried tears of joy when Tunzi won, saying finally Miss Universe looks like her.
“Miss universe looks like me” was seen on many pictures of young black girls over social media, which clearly shows the model has had a positive impact on the black community and black generations.
Even though she is highly intelligent, breathtakingly confident and undeniably beautiful, Tunzi broke yet another beauty barrier in the pageant industry when she participated with very short kinky hair, something which is rare in the pageant’s history.
Over the years, pageants have received backlashes from around the world regarding colourism, an issue which also led Miss America 2014 to bleach her skin before the pageant.
“This lack of community during my adolescence gave me little to no self-esteem, self-worth, or self-confidence, which led me to want to change everything about myself: my hair, the accent I picked up from my African family, and even my skin colour,” the model was quoted in an online report.
Despite Tunzi’s positive attention in mainstream media, the historic win also sparked criticism and discriminatory remarks, as some people felt unrepresented, especially black women who wear long weaves and Africans who do not belong to the black community.
“Do not use Tunzi’s win as a weapon to attack women who chose to wear weaves and cause racism among the Africans. Tunzi’s win is for everyone,” said an angry Twitter user.
Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Atlanta in the United States.
2019-12-13 09:31:28 | 3 months ago