Ninety women from all across the world gathered at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on Sunday night for the crowning of a new Miss Universe. The crown finally went to Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi after rounds of swimsuit and evening gown struts, questions on social issues and one final chance to explain why one was the right choice.
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray from Philippines crowned Zozibini Tunzi as Miss Universe 2019. Miss Universe Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was the runner-up and Miss Universe Mexico Sofia Aragon was the second-runner up, reports CNN.
Tunzi is the third woman from South Africa to win the title, and the first black woman since Leila Lopes was crowned Miss Universe 2011. She also happens to be the first woman to win the crown in afro-textured hair.
Right before the winner was announced, the show added a segment to let each contestant share her closing statement on why she should be chosen for the crown. Tunzi in her last response said: “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.”
When asked “what is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today,” Tunzi answered “leadership.” The 26-year-old said: “That’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.”
“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. Nothing is important as taking up space in the society and cementing yourself,” she added.
Steve Harvey hosted the pageant for the fifth time, sporting a bedazzled green and gold suit jacket, which he later got signed by the new Miss Universe.