Miss South Africa crowned Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa

“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 it is time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

That’s the message from Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa, who was on Sunday (Dec 8) crowned Miss Universe 2019.

Zozibini, Puerto Rico’s Madison Anderson and Mexico’s Sofia Aragon were the three finalists in the competition, but it was Zozibini who took the crown.

Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi does her first walk after being crowned

The finalists were asked a range of questions on topics such as climate change, protest and social media.

For her final question, 26-year-old Zozibini was asked what we should be teaching young girls today. She answered leadership.

“It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time – not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be,” she said. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world, and that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space.”

Miss Philippines 2018, Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray places the tiara on the newly crowned Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa.

Zozibini is the first black woman to win the competition since Miss Angola 2011 Leila Lopes won.