Zozibini Tunzi is gearing up for the Miss Universe pageant taking place this weekend

The Eastern Cape beauty is currently in America for the preliminary rounds of the competition, and has been hard at work trying to impress the judges and has been doing an amazing job so far.

Despite her success, Zozi has had many highs and lows since being crowned Miss SA 2019.

Here’s a look at some of her standout moments…

Her crowning moment

Zozibini was crowned Miss South Africa 2019 in August. She was one of the early favourites and proved a worthy winner on the night.

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“Today is the beginning of the rest of my life. I’ve dreamt about it so many times but the reality of it all is much greater. So many great Queens have come before me and I hope I continue the streak of amazing women who have contributed so much to society.

“So here sits the crown, beautifully so on my kinky coarse hair. I hope I make South Africa proud. Thank you so much for all the love and support. Yours sincerely, Miss South Africa 2019,” she wrote on Instagram after her win.

 

 

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Natural beauty queen

Zozibini Tunzi was praised for embracing her natural hair throughout the pageant. The Eastern Cape beauty said she decided to wear her natural hair to remind women that women that beauty comes in all shapes and forms.

“Through my win, I hope I have inspired people, even if just one person to be themselves at all times and to never compromise their identities, and to insert themselves in spaces where they feel that people like them do not belong.

“Because the truth is, we do belong and in the words of the actress Lupita Nyong’o ‘Your dreams are valid’,” she said after being crowned the new Miss SA.

 

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Standing tall amid ugly shaming

Despite being praised for celebrating her natural hair, some online trolls did not think Zozi was worthy of the beauty queen title. One Twitter user said she was too ugly and looked like a boy.

“Zozibini will not win Miss Universe. That girl is ugly she looks like a boy. She didn’t even deserve to win Miss South Africa. Stop fooling yourselves,” the tweep wrote.

Media personality LootLove was quick to come to Zozi’s defense.

“One day we will learn there are different kinds of beauty. To you, looking like a boy is an insult, to her: she broke barriers with that same look. The first of her kind to win and represent in a pageant. She is used to the likes of you pulling her down so she will soar higher,” LootLove wrote.

Zozi does not let the negative comments get to her and instead uses them to inspire other women to love themselves.

“I just want to take a moment to dedicate a post to the unkind comments that I have been receiving about my blackness since my crowning… I see an opportunity to educate and speak out on a serious issue. When people say hurtful, negative things about black women and black people in general I do not quickly take offense and here’s why. Society has previously been programmed in such a way that there’s nothing beautiful about being black.

“The furthest you are from being fair skinned the uglier you are. That unfortunately has been the universal standard of beauty and it is very difficult for some people to unlearn it. I am going into Miss Universe with hopes to shatter whatever misconception and stereotypes people have of beauty,” she wrote.

 

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I just want to take a moment to dedicate a post to the unkind comments that I have been receiving about my blackness since my crowning. To comments that are aimed at all brown skinned girls at some point in our lives. Not because it hurts me or gets under my skin, but because I see an opportunity to educate and speak out on a serious issue. When people say hurtful, negative things about black women and black people in general I do not quickly take offense and here’s why. Society has previously been programmed in such a way that there’s nothing beautiful about being black. The furthest you are from being fair skinned the uglier you are. That unfortunately has been the universal standard of beauty and it is very difficult for some people to unlearn it. I am going into Miss Universe with hopes to shatter whatever misconception and stereotypes people have of beauty. These comments are exactly why we should keep inserting ourselves in spaces where we have been told we do not belong and we will never make it. It is up to us re-write the narrative. To whoever else thinks that black is not beautiful I cannot wait for you to experience the depth and magic of a black woman. I am a daughter of the African soil and I am beautiful. See your face reflected in mine❤️ #misssouthafrica #missuniverse

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