The winner of the Miss Universe 2019 crown is Ms. South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, who competed against 90 other contestants hailing from different parts of the world. Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was named the first runner-up, followed by Mexican contestant Ashley Alvidrez as the second runner-up.
The finalists on the show held in Atlanta, were asked questions on crucial topics ranging from climate change, protests to social media.
During the final round, the three finalists were asked the same question regarding what we should be teaching young girls today and Zozibini’s answer was leadership. She went on to say about how girls should be taught to take up space.
"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," Zozibini said. "I think we are the most powerful beings on 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."
The 26 year old had a strong message to share, regarding the standardized notions of beauty, positing a direct challenge to patriarchy.
"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”, Zozibini, the first black woman to win the competition since Leila Lopes in 2011, said.
She even got a shout out from Oprah Winfrey who tweeted: “Congratulations Miss South Africa, the new Miss Universe @zozitunzi! Agree with you...leadership is the most powerful thing we should be teaching young women today. We welcome your visit to #OWLAG, our Leadership Academy for Girls.”
Our heartfelt best wishes to you too, Zozibini!