Interview with Miss SA 2019 Zozibini Tunzi
Written by Justin Mhaka on August 12, 2019
Name: Zozibini Tunzi
Region: I currently reside in Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape where I work and study. However, my home is Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape.
Age: 25 (18 September 1993)
I graduated with a ND Public Relations Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and am currently completing my B-Tech in PR at the same institution while working fulltime at Ogilvy Cape Town, doing a PR undergraduate programme.
Previous beauty competitions/pageants won:
Miss Mamelodi Sundowns WC 2015
Why did you want to be Miss SA?
I entered Miss South Africa because it will now contribute towards my goal of living a purposeful life. I have always been inspired by people who do extraordinary things in life; people who are agents of positive change and impactful in their societies and in the world. I have always believed that as human beings we exist to do more than just serve ourselves. A portion of our lives should be dedicated to being of service to others, especially those who need the help the most. I want to be Miss South Africa because I am ready to tap in fully into that selfless aspect of myself. I come from one of the most disadvantaged provinces in South Africa and I have seen first-hand how a little help can have a huge impact on someone’s life. I want to be able to do that for someone.
Who is a previous Miss SA who has inspired you?
Basetsana Khumalo has inspired me in so many ways. When she won Miss SA 1994 it was at a time when South Africa was transitioning from its difficult political past. She was the epitome of what a black South African woman would be in the future and she did more than just win a crown. She was fighting a battle of being black and being a woman trying to do something extraordinary in a time that was almost impossible for black women to even dream. Even though she doesn’t know me, she has taught me a great deal about dreaming big and forcefully kicking down closed doors when I have been told I can’t do it or do not belong there. Another beautiful thing about her journey is that she managed to use her platform to do amazing things for her life and the lives of others. She is a successful entrepreneur and award-winning philanthropist. Everything a Miss South Africa should aspire to be.
Who are your role models?
As cliché as this may sound my role models are my parents. I have learnt so much from them. My mother has taught me the importance of remaining kind and humble and always being helpful to those around me. My father has taught me the importance of an education, of hard work and discipline. Most important they have equally moulded me to be who I am today.
Tell us a bit more about your family:
My family is the most important part of my life. I once read somewhere that a child chooses their parents. If that is true, my family is the best decision I have made in my life so far. Everything else could be falling apart but they remain the constant centre of my joy.
My mother is a school principal at Bangweni JSS, a school in a village called Bolotwa. She has taught me to always be kind and respectful towards people. My father works in Pretoria at the department of Higher Education and Training. Growing up he always maintained a balance between being strict and loving and he still does. He has taught me everything I know about hard work, being ambitious and about setting and reaching my goals. I have three sisters, Yanga (30), Sibabalwe (24) and Ayakha (13). I always say they are my sisters by birth but best friends by choice.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love food, so whenever I get a chance, I grab my sister and friend and we try out restaurants we’ve never been to before. I like to read and I absolutely love documentaries and real-life stories. I also enjoy the beach, whether I’m lying on the sand or riding a bike along the coast.
Miss South Africa 2019 was crowned on Women’s Day – what does this mean to you?
For me this competition has always been about the empowerment and upliftment of women and to align it with Women’s Day makes it all the more special. Now more than ever women are rising to take their rightful places at the forefront of greatness. A baton was passed on to us by the women who marched back on 9 August 1956 to continue the work of shattering glass ceilings, kicking down closed doors and being women of great stature who rise and open doors for other women. As woman, it is our responsibility to make sure that the baton never falls. We have to pass it on to the next generation of women.
In which way do you think beauty pageants are still relevant today? – how would you respond to someone who says they totally aren’t?
The first misconception people have about beauty queens is that they have no depth, which is why they don’t find the relevance in beauty pageants. This is far from the truth. Through pageants I have entered in the past I have met so many inspirational women from different industries doing amazing things for their lives and their societies. Looking at the past contestants of the Miss SA competition we have seen the most brilliant minds grace the stage. Beauty pageants in 2019 are more than just outer beauty, they are about what an individual can offer to the world. They are about being impactful, being an empowered woman who can empower other women as well. That can never be irrelevant.
Name two of your female role models?
Mama Winnie Madikizela will always be my role model. She inspires me because she was a fighter. During the apartheid era she was at the frontline of the battle field and would go home to be a mother to young girls while her husband was locked away for 27 years in prison. Her ability to be all of these things at once is one of the reasons I believe that there is nothing I cannot achieve or overcome. She makes me want to be someone who does more for her society, an agent of positive change.
My second one is relatively new to my list of inspirational women. Her name is Thabile Ngwato. Her drive speaks directly to me because she is a millennial like myself. She recently launched her own news channel along with a partner. To be able to do that at such a young age takes guts, discipline and ambition and I aspire to be like her.
What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?
The most important thing is to know yourself fully, because then you can love yourself unconditionally. One of the many challenges of being women is rooted from the lack of love we have for ourselves. If we love ourselves then we have already won half the battle.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I can sing. I never sing publicly but I’m pretty good.
What is the No 1 piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be confident in yourself. Do not be afraid to shine and speak up more!
Describe yourself in three words:
Calm, relatable and persistent.
What are you reading?
The Secret – a self-help book by Rhonda Byrne
What music are you listening to?
Childish Gambino – Guava Island
Your favourite TV show?
Game of Thrones
Your favourite meal?
Umngqusho “Samp” and beef stew.
Who’s your celeb crush?
Jesse Williams (who plays Dr. Jackson Avery in Grey’s Anatomy)
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Enjoying a DC comic ‘Wonder Woman’ as I am a hard-core Marvel fan.