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. I think that it is time that that stops today… 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.
She believes it’s time to lay the responsibility at the door of perpetrators and will use her year of reign working towards making them aware that they have to change their behaviour.
Little wonder then that Tunzi was seen as a beacon of hope at Sona 2020.
Rebecca Davis wrote on the Daily Maverick, “How Miss Universe and Mr Springbok saved the night at stormy Sona”, highlighting the impact of Tunzi and Siya Kolisi’s star power to soothe ruffled feathers after a very disruptive beginning to the evening, that resulted in a 90-minute delay before we first heard from President Ramaphosa.
As the two took turns to stand and wave to the House, a ripple of admiration and the most sincere applause of the night followed. Suddenly, everything seemed calm and under control once again.Indeed, “the luminescence of Miss Universe and the Springbok hero”, turned attendees’ attention from rehashing the past to instead focusing on what can be done to improve the future.
We take up this responsibility at an important time for our continent… And with the economic empowerment of Africa’s women during its term as AU chair, working with all member states on measures to promote financial inclusion, preferential procurement and preferential trade arrangements for women.
President Ramaphosa further added to Tunzi’s star power earlier in the week, when he appointed her as an ambassador against gender-based violence in South Africa.
Good Things Guy, recently named South Africa's Blog of the Year for 2019 for the third consecutive year, reports that this honour, bestowed on Tunzi while home on her week-long 'victory tour', is possibly her most important title to date.
Her power to inspire others was clear from the following tweet on taking the Miss Universe title:
Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it.— Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi) December 9, 2019
May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine.
I am #MissUniverse2019. pic.twitter.com/gMkjmVCabo
Yvonne Wakefield, founder of The Warrior Project, an online portal with information and resources for victims of domestic and gender-based violence, says it was disappointing that Sona lacked specific detail on progress achieved with the R1.6bn in allegedly allocated funds or plans going forward to turn the tide against such violence and femicide.
Wakefield says all eyes are now on the Finance Minister for a precise report in the Budget Speech.
Words give us hope but they are just words. We need to see concrete actions from our leaders.All eyes on the upcoming Budget Speech and the actions of Miss Universe, then. Here’s hoping for a brighter, more inclusive future for all.