Zozibini celebrated for her independence and unique style
Tsolo-born Zozibini Tunzi (25), the 61st Miss South Africa crowned on Women’s Day, has sparked a nationwide debate over the authenticity of South African women after she became an unexpected winner of the coveted crown with a natural cut and fade hairstyle.
The Eastern Cape youngster was not given much of a chance by South Africans, judging from social media, owing to what they called ‘a boyish look’. “I came into this competition with my natural hair as a symbol of my firm belief in fair representation of any shape and form. So, through my win, I hope I have inspired people, even if it is 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 said in her acceptance speech on Friday in Pretoria.
Her parents, Philiswa Nodophu and Lungisa Tunzi came to support her, and her visibly excited father, said, “I am absolutely speechless. It’s unbelievable. You know a rural boy, like myself coming from the village of uTsolo in the Eastern Cape, having a child that is Miss South Africa is amazing”.
The ANC Women’s League in the province congratulated Tunzi and commended her for proving beyond reasonable doubt that she is in touch with the real socio-economic challenges faced by many South Africans in particular, the youth. She boldly indicated her interests in advancing education initiatives focusing on youth. “We are looking forward to working with Zozibini on any of her initiatives in the Home of Legends. We also wish to recognise the role played by her parents especially her mother, Philiswa in bringing up such a young woman who is independent and unapologetic about her views,” Khosi Nongqayi, provincial spokesperson for the Women’s League stated.
The Eastern Cape province had three women in the finals; Sibabalwe Gcilitshana (24) from Ngqamakhwe and Loren Leigh Jenneker (24) from Port Elizabeth.